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Startseite Urgent Actions 2015 04 Four activists detained for symbolic action
UA 088/15
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Abgeschlossen am 19. Mai 2015

Four activists detained for symbolic action

AI-Index: AFR 62/1465/2015

Four human right activists were arrested in Goma on 7 April, when they were encouraging bystanders to take part in a symbolic action to demand the release of their colleagues held in secret detention in Kinshasa.

Tresor Akili, Vincent Kasereka, Gentil Mulume and Sylvain Mumbere, members of Lutte pour le Changement (Struggle for Change or LUCHA), an organization engaging youth activists, were arrested on 7 April while preparing for their ‘filimbi’ or ‘whistle’ action. Since 4 April, LUCHA has organized a daily symbolic action asking people to blow whistles from 5.00pm to 5.05 pm to demand the release of their colleagues held in secret detention in Kinshasa since 15 March 2015.

The four were arrested at ‘Deux Lampes’ roundabout, in Goma, where they were explaining their action to bystanders and distributing whistles to those interested. On 13 April, the public prosecutor signed a provisional arrest warrant and charged the activists with undermining national security, inciting rebellion, distribution of pamphlets and participation in illegal protests. The four were transferred to Munzenze prison in Goma the same day.

Amnesty International considers that the activists are being detained on these charges solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.


The Filimbi or whistle action calls for the release of at least 5 human rights activists who remain in secret detention in Kinshasa after security officials stormed a press conference held on 15 March at Eloko Makasi youth centre in Masina, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Approximately 30 people were arrested at the time, including activists from 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 later deported. An unknown number of Congolese activists, including Fred Bauma, who was representing LUCHA during the press conference, remain in secret detention. Since their arrest on 15 March, they have not had access to a lawyer or allowed visits from their family members. Their precise location of detention remains unknown.

Name: Tresor Akili, Vincent Kasereka, Gentil Mulume and Sylvain Mumbere

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