The 822-Carat Diamond Case: NGOs Appeal to Kabila For Justice

21/05/2015 14:06

A group of human rights NGOs in the DRC have appealed directly to President Kabila to secure the restitution of a 822-carat diamond to its rightful owner. The diamond was seized in 2005 by Belgian customs for attempted fraudulent export and dubious origin, and returned to the competent authorities in the DRC, but the diamond has never been returned to its owner, despite Kabila's promise that it would be. The NGOs claim that representatives of Kabila's government have violated the rights of and threatened the owner, Theodore Mbiya Kalala. The NGOS quoted an article of the Constitution which states that, "private property is sacred".  No one may be deprived of his property except for public utility and subject to fair and prior compensation granted under the conditions laid down by law.

For these NGOS, restitution of this precious diamond to its owner would be, in the eyes of the Congolese people and of humanity as a whole, a strong signal of the exemplarity and efforts of the president in the struggle for good governance, the rule of law, human rights and democracy.