DRC rapper acquitted after being arrested for criticising president
DRC rapper Nzanzu Muyisa Makasi, who was arrested for ‘insulting the head of state’, was acquitted on appeal by a military court.
A rapper in the Democratic Republic of Congo sentenced to two years in prison for criticising the president has been acquitted on appeal, his lawyer said on Thursday.
EASTERN DR CONGO IN A ‘STATE OF SIEGE’
Eastern DR Congo is prey to myriad armed groups, many of which are a legacy of regional wars that flared a quarter of a century ago.
Massacres have continued and rights groups charge that further empowering the security forces has led to abuses against civilians.
DR CONGO RAPPER RELEASED AND ACQUITTED
On Thursday, Makasi’s lawyer Patrick Mukomba told AFP that a military tribunal in the provincial capital of Goma had acquitted and released the rapper at an appeal hearing the previous day.
“The charges against our client were not established,” he said, explaining that criticising events in the volatile east did not amount to insulting the president.Patrick Mukomba
Makasi, 29, is from conflict-torn North Kivu. His father was killed in a 2015 attack in neighbouring Ituri province by the Allied Democratic Forces, a militia the Islamic State group describes as its local affiliate in the region.
DR CONGO RAPPERS PUNISHED FOR FREE SPEECH
In December, Makasi was sentenced alongside fellow rapper Idengo – real name Delphin Katembo – who received a 10-year sentence for criticising the army.
Idengo is still in detention. His appeal hearing is scheduled for 27 May.
© Agence France-Presse