Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Sylva Mbikayi: The People's Attorney

When Sylva Mbikayi graduated from law school and passed the bar exam, Jean-Marie Kalonji and friends came to celebrate his accomplishment. Sylva, the people's lawyer, has taken the responsibility to represent those who have been wrongfully arrested. Through a program of Quatrieme Voie, he has visited the Makala prison in Kinshasa and reviewed cases of young women jailed, some living in prison with their babies. All of this work, free of charge.

Two weeks ago, he decided to take on another case, that of a Congolese elder name Papa Biko who was arrested by Congolese police simply for fulfilling his duty as a citizen by offering his space to facilitate voter enrollment. When the news of Jean-Marie and Sylva's arrest reached the neighborhood of Papa Biko, the people there said "wait, they arrested Papa Biko's lawyer too? Now they're going to see!"

People are being mobilized on the ground for these two young men to be released and we will share more as they take action. It's been 7 days and we do not have at 100% reassurance about their well being. We remain faithful and continue to fight for their release.

Thoughts and prayers go to these valiant fighters for Congo's liberation.

We miss you Sylva and Jean Marie!

Kambale Musavuli
Spokesperson, Friends of the Congo


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