Congo: Amnesty International Calls for Release of Detained Opponents of Kabila’s Military Regime Remain


Jean-Marie Kalonji and Sylva Mbikayi. Photo–Twitter

Friday, July 14th marks three weeks since the Congolese military picked up and detained Jean-Marie Kalonji and Sylva Mbikayi of the youth-led organization Quatrieme-Voie/Il Est Temps.

Jean-Marie and Sylva remain detained without charge or access to their family or legal representation. They are still in the Military Detection of Unpatriotic Activities (DEMIAP) detention camp where detainees are often tortured and rarely heard from again.

Owing to the gravity and urgency of their case, Amnesty International has issued an urgent appeal for the immediate release of Jean-Marie and Sylva Mbikayi.

The members of Quatrieme-Voie/Il Est Temps are bewildered as to why their top leaders have been shipped off to a military camp. The fact of the matter is, while partnering with Congo Love, Jean-Marie, Sylva and the rest of the Quatrieme-Voie youth have been deeply engaged in serving their communities. They have assisted women and children with legal service to get them released from jail; they assist market women by providing them with benches and chairs to improve the conditions in which they sell their products; they have worked with the handicap community to provide services to them; and they launched a scholarship initiative to provide university students with scholarships to attend school.

Their situation is dire. Jean-Marie and Sylva’s don’t belong in a military dungeon.They should be in their communities serving the dispossessed and contributing to their country. Three ways you can help with the effort to secure their release are as follows:

1. Send an email to Congo’s Minister of Human Rights or send the Minister a tweet to appeal for her intervention. Click here for sample letter.

Mrs. Marie-Ange Mushobekwa, Ministère des droits humain.

Place Royal, Kinshasa-Gombe, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MushobekwaMa

2. Share a solidarity statement or a 60-second video calling for the release of Jean Marie Kalonji and Sylva Mbikayi using these hashtags #FreeJeanMarie #FreeSylva #Telema

3. Make a financial contribution to support the effort to secure the release of Jean-Marie and Sylva.

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