Sunday, June 25, 2017

Free Jean-Marie and Sylva: Dispatches from the Ground

The reality of young Congolese fighting to get their comrades Jean Marie Kalonji and Sylva Mbikayi out of military detention.
  • Unknown numbers are calling the current leaders with death threats. The person on the line shared very personal information about these leaders in order to demonstrate that they have been following them for a while.
  • They have been followed throughout the city by pickup trucks in the past 48 hours. Two cars of family members of the detained youth have been set ablaze.
  • When going to the DEMIAP military detention center to seek information on the detained youth, the soldiers issue death threats to the advocates.
  • When going to seek support from the human rights office at the UN mission (MONUSCO), the response is that they don't have anyone available on the weekends and someone will follow up next week.
  • Some people in the whatsapp groups the arrested leaders were a part of are receiving anonymous calls and threats as well
  • An attorney from a local and internationally known organization did not want to go to DEMIAP. He said "if they arrested Sylva knowing he is an attorney, I may get arrested if I go there too. Let me get a few other attorneys and we will go there next week."
The movement of the youth leaders is compromised. The Kabila regime has agents throughout the country, especially in Kinshasa on University campuses. The threat to the lives of the youth is real, yet they continue to go out to demand the release of their leaders from military detention. If you don't call it courage... I don't know what courage is then.

Kambale Musavuli
Friends of the Congo

Take action to support the Congolese Youth!


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