Kinshasa — Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have provisionally freed 17 pro-democracy activists who were arrested in the capital on November 1, one of the activists said on Monday. “We have all been free since yesterday (Sunday) and we were granted provisional release,” Gloria Senga, head of the Citizens’ Vigilance (Vigi) movement, told AFP. “We have been summoned to the public prosecutor’s office on Friday,” she added. The 17 young activists, mainly students, are accused of “disturbing the peace and civil disobedience” as the vast central African country gears up for general elections on December 23. Picked up by security forces while fulfilling a mission of “civil and electoral education”, they were jailed in Kinshasa’s central Makala prison, where they went on hunger strike to press for their release. “They were calling on the Congolese people to vote responsibly, not out of fear,” the group’s lawyer Donald Kabasele told AFP, ahead of the start of the electio...

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