Ensure Safety of Activist Held in Incommunicado Detention


Target: Wivine Mumba Matipa, Minister of Justice and Human Rights for the Democratic Republic of Congo

Goal: Ascertain the whereabouts of a detained political activist and ensure he is safe from torture and ill-treatment

Sam Mugumya, a Ugandan national, is believed to be in the custody of the army of the Democratic Republic of Congo pending extradition back to Uganda. However, his whereabouts have not been revealed and he is consequently at risk of torture and ill-treatment. Sign the petition and demand news of his whereabouts, safety, and state of health.

Mugumya has been arrested several times in Uganda as a result of his political activism and has faced a number of charges, including one of treason for participating in a driving boycott to protest rising fuel prices, though that charge was later dropped. Most recently, he was arrested at the border between Uganda and the DRC. A Congolese military official has confirmed he is in military custody, but no further details have been given. Mugumya’s family has had no contact with him since his detention.

Torture is a common method of forcing confessions in the DRC, and Mugumya’s incommunicado detention puts him at a much higher risk for ill-treatment, Amnesty International reports. Sign the petition and demand that Sam Mugumya’s location be revealed and that he be treated in accordance with international human rights standards.


Dear Minister,

I am writing to demand the whereabouts of Ugandan political activist Sam Mugumya, who was arrested by Congolese forces at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has been held incommunicado for far too long and is at risk of torture. Please do what is right: reveal his location, allow him contact with his family and lawyers, and ensure that he is safe from any ill-treatment.

Mugumya’s political activism has made him a lightning rod for controversy in his native Uganda, but peaceful political protest is an internationally-recognized human right that must be respected. I fear that Mugumya’s reputation as a political activist, coupled with his incommunicado detention, will put him at an extremely high risk of torture or other ill-treatment in an effort to extract a “confession” from him. Evidence has shown that this practice is more common than it should be in the DRC.

I urge you to do the right thing: ensure Sam Mugumya’s safety, allow him contact with his family and lawyers, and make his location known.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr

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