Police in DR Congo announced Monday that a protester they had previously said died from a gunshot wound during a banned anti-government march was in fact alive and in emergency care, after authorities broke up several weekend rallies.
The national police had earlier said the man was shot during unrest as police dispersed protesters in the eastern city of Goma on Sunday and that he had died in hospital.
But on Monday the national police said that "contrary to the communication that announced the death of a protester," the man is instead "currently in emergency care".
"The provincial security committee went to the hospital where the patient is staying and confirmed that the protester is being treated at the hospital," the national police said in a statement.
National police spokesman Pierrot Mwanamputu had told AFP on Sunday that a person who was "wounded by a gunshot died in hospital" after "resistance" to police efforts to disperse the marchers in Goma.
An opposition youth official said that police "fired real bullets" in Goma, while a local police commissioner said some of the demonstrators were armed.
In the capital Kinshasa, on the other side of the country, police used tear gas to break up another banned march.
The opposition Lamuka coalition called the protests to mark the 59th anniversary of the central African country's independence from Belgium.
President Felix Tshisekedi, speaking in his first major interview since taking office early this year, told French media on Saturday that there would be no repression.
"We have the impression that there are some who confuse democracy with anarchy," he said.
On Monday Tshisekedi visited the volatile Ituri province, where local authorities say at least 160 civilians have died since June 10 in clashes between armed groups.
The president, who has already ordered the army to launch a "large-scale" operation against the militias, added that "we will make every effort to put an end to the attackers".
The offensive hopes to put a "definite end" to the dozens of militias roaming the lawless, mineral-rich region, where the instability has forced more than 300,000 people to flee their homes, according to the UN refugee agency.