Rio de Janeiro police investigate ‘revolting’ murder of Congolese migrant


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Rio de Janeiro police are investigating the brutal murder of a young Congolese immigrant who was allegedly beaten to death as he demanded his boss pay his back wages.

Moise Kabagambe, 24, died on the night of January 24 at the bar where he worked in the upscale neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, a Brazilian seaside town, according to authorities and members of his family.

Kabagambe arrived in Brazil in 2011, fleeing armed conflict in his native Democratic Republic of Congo.

Family members said the beating came after he insisted his manager pay him his overdue wages for two days’ work at the seaside bar where he worked.

“He wanted his money and they didn’t want to pay it. That’s when the argument started. The manager grabbed a piece of wood to hit him. He (Kabagambe) grabbed a chair to defend himself,” said the immigrant’s brother, Sammy Kabagambe. , 28, told AFP.

He said police showed family members security camera footage showing the manager calling out other attackers. At least three assailants beat Kabagambe with clubs and a baseball bat, binding his hands and feet at one point, relatives said.

Excerpts from the video published by the O Globo newspaper showed a group of people trying to revive Kabagambe’s lifeless body after the beating.

The case sparked outrage in Brazil.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes called the killing “unacceptable and appalling” on Tuesday, and said he was confident police would bring the attackers to justice.

Legendary Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso said on Instagram that the case brought him to tears and denounced the “pain to see a refugee from violence find such violence in Brazil”.

“It’s not the Rio that I like,” tweeted football star Gabigol of local club Flamengo.

According to Brazilian media, one person confessed to taking part in the beatings and turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday.

“They broke my son’s back and neck,” Kabagambe’s mother, Ivana Lay, told O Globo.

“I fled the Congo not to be killed, but they killed my son here the same way they do in my country, punching and kicking like an animal.”



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