Yves Makwambala and Fred Bauma -DRC
RELEASE DETAINED HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS
Two human rights activists, Yves Makwambala and Fred Bauma remain in detention at Makala prison in Kinshasa. The two are facing charges of “treason, attempted coup and an attempt to take the life of a Head of State”. Yves Makwambala and Fred Bauma were among at least 30 people arrested on 15 March after Congolese security officials stormed a press conference held by the youth movement Filimbi at Eloko Makasi youth center in Masina, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Others arrested at the time included activists from Congolese youth organization Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA), the Senegalese movement Y’en a Marre, the Burkinabé group Balai Citoyen, as well as an American diplomat and journalists present at the press conference.
The American diplomat and foreign journalists were released the same day, and the Senegalese and Burkinabé activists were subsequently deported. On 21 April, Sylvain Saluseke, one of the leaders of Filimbi movement was released from secret detention without charge. Yves Makwambala and Fred Bauma were held in secret detention until they were transferred to Makala prison in Kinshasa on 25 April and 5 May respectively. Both activists are being charged with “treason, attempted coup and an attempt to take the life of a Head of State.” However, according to their lawyers, the activists’ files with the prosecutor do not contain any element of culpability against the two.
Amnesty International believes that the activists are being detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience. Amnesty International is concerned about attacks on
the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in the context of the upcoming elections in DRC, aimed especially at youth and political opposition groups.
Please write immediately in French, English or your own language:
Calling on the Congolese authorities to drop all charges against the two activists and to immediately and unconditionally release them;
Calling on them to ensure that the activists are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and have regular access to their families; Urging them to uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in DRC.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO:
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Alexis Tambwe Mwamba
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
P.O Box 3137
Salutation: Dear Minister
Attorney General Flory Kabange Numbi
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 7016 Kinshasa 1
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
And copies to:
His Excellency Augustin Matata Ponyo
Office of the Prime Minister
5 avenue Roi Baudoin
Emails : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Also send copies to:
Ambassador Faida Mitifu, Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo
1726 M St, NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202 234 7690 , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org