Mass jailbreak in DR Congo leaves at least four dead

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At least 250 prisoners in the Democratic Republic of Congo have escaped in a mass jailbreak at Bukavu prison. BBC reported that three people died, including a guard who was overpowered as the prisoners made their escape.
Gisele Balegamire, Minister of Justice and Human Rights in South Kivu province, said that the jailbreak was believed to be connected to “the suspension of the former head of the prison… accused of several offences, particularly extorting payment for visits to inmates, opening the way for the torture of certain detainees by soldiers and the embezzlement of funds allocated to the prison.”
Staff of the justice division in South Kivu helped the former prison governor to steal the funds, she added.
AFP news agency was told by a police officer that prison wardens were overcome by inmates who “took weapons and managed to open the prison door”. Residents living near the facility reported awakening to gunfire.
“Several secret meetings have been held to avenge the suspended prison chief and to show that the new chief, who is experienced since he has already run the jail in Uvira, is incompetent. These people cooperated with some detainees to organise the breakout,” Balegamire added.

The escaped prisoners included “those accused of trying to kill the famous Dr Denis Mukwege”, a pioneer in the treatment of women victims of gang-rape by armed bands, the police officer said.
Civil society activists say the number of escapees could be higher as more than 1500 inmates were inside at the time and officials estimate 80% of the prisoners escaped.

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Read More here:

 Mass jailbreak in DRC Congo claims four lives: official

Mass jailbreak in DR Congo leaves at least four dead

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The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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