Thursday, December 24, 2015

Free Jean Marie Kalonji

Free Jean Marie Kalonji
Kambale Musavuli
Spokesperson, FOTC

On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, young Congolese activist Jean Marie Emmanuel Le Roi Kalonji Ngbongolo (known as Jean Marie Kalonji) was kidnapped in broad daylight by armed men in plain clothes brandishing pistols near Gare Centrale (main train station) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These men brutalized him and forced him into a dark blue, pathfinder jeep.

Jean Marie's family has been very concerned about his whereabouts and well being.  His location was not known for more than a week. On Tuesday, December 22nd, he was found in a holding cell at Congo’s National Intelligence Agency office (Agence Nationale de Renseignements - ANR). The agents in the office held a "Hearing of the Charges" session where they claimed that Mr. Kalonji posted on Facebook that he is against the national dialogue organized by president Joseph Kabila because it puts Congo’s constitution at risk.

The ANR agents said that his activities with college students have been monitored for quite a while and that they were concerned about his close association with Congolese opposition politician Martin Fayulu. The ANR also added that it appears that Jean-Marie was close to Congolese youth groups in Goma as well as groups outside of the Congo working for change within Congolese civil society.

Jean Marie Kalonji is a 29 year-old human rights activist based in Kinshasa, DRC. He holds a degree in International Law from Université Libre de Kinshasa (ULK). He is the coordinator of Quatrieme Voix , a civil society organization based in Kinshasa. He has organized and mobilized Congolese youth to understand their role and responsibility as citizens in resolving local issues from street sanitation to electoral politics.

Jean-Marie’s kidnapping is the latest among the increasing arbitrary arrests by the Kabila regime. Congolese youth are detained without any charges for months and subsequently tortured, just as was the case with popular Congolese hip hop artist Radek Supreme who was released last week for medical reasons but is feared to have been disappeared again. As Jean-Marie’s family pursue legal means of getting him released, they are also subjected to harassment and threats from the Kabila regime.

Join us in demanding the release and full accounting of Jean-Marie Kalonji, Radek Supreme, Fred Bauma, Yves Makwambala and all other political prisoners. Click here to take action!

For more information on Congo's youth movement, visit


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