Death sentence for Congolese activist's murder

23rd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A military court in the Democratic Republic Congo has sentenced four police officers to death for the murder of human rights activist Floribert Chebeya. One man was handed down a life sentence, three others were acquitted. Forty-seven-year-old Chebeya chaired the human rights organisation La Voix des Sans-Voix The Voice of the Voiceless. A year ago, he had an appointment with the police at a police station in Kinshasa, but never arrived. His boday was found a day later in a car boot. The activist’s chauffeur is still missing.

One of the condemned men is colonel Daniel Mukalay, chief of the special investigation unit of the national police. He admitted that he was involved in the murder. The others were condemned to death in absentia. The murder of Chebeya led to international condemnation. Human Rights organisations, the EU, the US and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon expressed their horror at the murder.

A Dutch forensic team investigated the cause of death. The pathologists agreed with Congolese experts that he died of heart failure, in spite of multiple injuries on his body.

Since President Joseph Kabila came to power in 2001 the death penalty has not been carried out.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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