New Congolese President Pardons 700

New Congolese President Pardons 700


KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo — The new Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi has pardoned about 700 political prisoners who were jailed under his predecessor.

Mr. Tshisekedi signed the decree Wednesday, fulfilling a promise he made this month to do so during his first 100 days in office.

Among those set for release was Firmin Yangambi, who was sentenced in 2009 to 20 years in prison on charges of being a threat to national security. Also being freed is Franck Diongo, an opposition figure who was sentenced to five years imprisonment during the previous administration.

Mr. Tshisekedi was declared the winner of the Dec. 30 presidential election, leading Congo to its first peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium nearly 60 years ago. He succeeded Joseph Kabila, who governed the largely impoverished but mineral-rich country for 18 years.



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