Amnesty International calls for Release of Human Rights Activists

Amnesty International today launched a new campaign for the release of Congolese youth human rights activists held incommunicado in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for 15 days. The activists were arrested on 15 March when security forces stormed a press conference on youth civic engagement in political processes in the run up to the country’s elections.

During the campaign, Amnesty International members and supporters around the globe, along with the public, will sign a petition, write to Congolese authorities, and send solidarity tweets to those detained.

Amnesty International understands that at least five youth human rights activists are still detained. They were among at least 30 people arrested at the press conference organized by Congolese youth organisations la Jeunesse pour une Nouvelle Société (JNS), le Forum National de la Jeunesse pour l’Excellence (FNJE) and Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA) at a cultural centre called Eloko ya Makasi, Masina in Kinshasa.

The prolonged incommunicado detention of the five detainees for 15 days constitutes ill-treatment and places them at risk of torture.

Others arrested were later released, including activists from Senegal and Burkina Faso who were subsequently deported on 18 March. These included Fadel Barro, Aliou Sane and Malal Talla from Y’en a Marre of Senegal, and Ouedraogo Sibiri from Balai Citoyen of Burkina Faso.