29 Muslims have been sentenced to death for clashes over the Eid prayers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which left one policeman dead and dozens injured. The clashes erupted on Thursday in the capital, Kinshasa, between two Muslim groups over who should lead the Eid prayers.
49 people have been arrested in the capital, Kinshasa, outside the Martyrs’ Stadium, where Eid prayers will be held after the end of Ramadan. The trial is televised live throughout the night. However, the death penalty is currently not being implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and people will instead spend years in prison.
Authorities say during a clash between two rival Muslim factions over who should lead the Eid prayers at the end of the fast, led to the death of one policeman, dozens were injured and several others had complications as a result of their injuries.
There has been a long-running dispute over the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, between the two rival factions. Earlier, leaders of the two groups assured the authorities in the capital of Kinshasa that Eid prayers would be held peacefully, but unfortunately violence erupted.
During the clashes, policemen used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse people gathered for Eid prayers, after the clashes erupted. 41 people were arrested at the scene of the violence on Thursday, the following morning, and on Friday they were arraigned in court. 31 were convicted, 29 were sentenced to death, and two were sentenced to five years in prison.
Given the speed with which the case is being handled, there is a strong sense of doubt about the fairness of the case. About 10% of the population of Congo (Kinshasa) is Muslim and mostly in the eastern part of the country. However, Kinshasa in the western part of the Central African Republic also has a large number of Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan on the city’s main streets and in public squares.
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