Thirty condemned to death for anti-police clashes in DR Congo

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Thirty condemned to death for anti-police clashes in DR Congo


Thirty people have been sentenced to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after a day-long trial for their role in anti-police violence marking the end of Ramadan in the capital.
A policeman was killed Thursday in Kinshasa as rival Muslim groups vied for the right to mark the end of Ramadan in a large sports stadium.

Chief lawyer Tshipamba said 30 people were sentenced to death in a trial that began on Friday, a day after the violence. A recording of the proceedings confirmed the verdict.

The DRC has not applied the death penalty since the establishment of a moratorium in 2003. Since then, death sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment.

Dozens of injured

The regional government said that in addition to the killed policeman, several people were injured and a police vehicle was burned during the fighting outside the Martyrs Stadium.

Kinshasa police chief Sylvano Kasongo said around 40 people were injured and 35 arrested.

Two rival factions have been fighting for years for the leadership of the Muslim federation Comico in the DRC. The two camps remain at odds and sometimes come to blows.

About 10% of the DRC’s population is Muslim, mainly concentrated in the east of the country.

But Kinshasa on the Congo River, to the west of the vast country of Central Africa, also traditionally sees mass celebrations for the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in public squares and on main roads.



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