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Republic of Congo appeals court releases opposition leader

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo (AP) — A Republic of Congo court has freed opposition leader Paulin Makaya, who had been under house arrest in Brazzaville since 2015.

The criminal court of appeals on Thursday ordered him to be released.

Makaya was sentenced to two years for inciting public disorder and insurrection. He was accused of complicity in a prison escape attempt that killed four people, including a policeman.

Makaya was initially detained after organizing a peaceful march against a constitutional reform that allowed President Denis Sassou Nguesso — in power for more than 30 years — to run for another term.

Amnesty International welcomed the ruling, calling for the release of other dissidents.

Makaya, who is also an English citizen, returned to Congo in 2014 after an exile of more than 10 years in London.

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