Police, anti-Kabila protestors clash in Brussels

23rd October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Police using heavy security clashed Saturday with hundreds of demonstrators opposed to President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo during a protest in Brussels over the death in jail of a Congolese dissident.

Two officers were hurt and several marchers detained when stone-throwing protestors smashed a shop window and damaged parked vehicles, the domestic Belga news agency said, as the demonstrators -- estimated at 500 by police, 1,000 by organisers -- marched towards European Union offices.

The protest follows DR Congo's October 14 refusal to return to Belgium the body of a man who died after being jailed for throwing a stone at the president's convoy.

Police threw up a tight security cordon around EU premises, with dozens of vehicles, a helicopter hovering ahead and mounted police in nearby streets.

A Belgian court had asked for the return of the body of Armand Tungulu, who lived in Belgium and was arrested for throwing a stone at Kabila's convoy on September 29.

Tungulu was found dead in his cell three days later.

Among the marchers, who claim he was slain, was his widow as well as Jean-Paul Moka, who has said he will run for president at the next elections.

Authorities in Kinshasa said preliminary investigations suggested Tungulu, 30, had committed suicide.

Rights groups said he had been beaten up by the president's bodyguards.

A Belgian court had demanded his body be repatriated to Belgium under a penalty of 25,000 euros (35,000 dollars) per day for any delay.

But Kinshasa government spokesman Lambert Mende had rejected the court order as "totally inconvenient because it compromises the inquiry under way in the DR Congo on this case."

© 2010 AFP

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