Congolese opposition leader Paulin Makaya, recently released from prison after three years, has again been prevented from leaving Brazzaville, his family said on Saturday.
Border police stopped Makaya from boarding an Air France flight to Paris on Friday evening, his son Russel Makaya told AFP. From there, he had been due to fly on to London.
“He turned up on Friday a little before 19:00 with his British passport. The border police turned him back immediately on the pretext that he is banned from leaving the country,” he said.
Makaya was also stopped from travelling on September 28, officially because he did not have a permit to leave the country.
But this time, his son said, he had the necessary papers – and a letter from the British embassy calling on the authorities in Congo to provide him with assistance to make the trip.
A copy of this letter has been posted on social media, an AFP journalist noted.
A border police spokeserson, who asked not to be named, told AFP if Paulin Makaya had not been authorised to travel, it was because his papers were not in order.
Makaya was only released from prison on September 17.
A close associate of former Congolese premier Bernard Kolelas, Makaya was jailed after organising a banned demonstration against the constitutional referendum that allowed President Sassou Nguesso to seek another term in March 2016.
Nguesso has run Congo, a small, oil-rich country in central Africa, for more than 34 years.