Target: Alexis Tambwe Mwamba, Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Goal: Disclose the whereabouts of arrested activist and either charge him with a recognizable criminal offense or release him
Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba has been arrested without charge and held in an undisclosed location without the ability to communicate with the outside world, putting him at severe risk of torture and other human rights violations. He was likely targeted because he is an activist with a number of human rights organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sign the petition to demand that his whereabouts be disclosed and that he be either charged or released immediately.
Mutamba, whose activism has largely centered around opposition to proposed constitutional amendments that would extend the term of President Joseph Kabila, was arrested by armed men wearing military garb and forced into a car in the city of Kinshasa, the DRC’s capital. He has not been seen or heard from since, although the Congolese authorities maintain that he “is being held by the judicial authorities and will appear in court,” Amnesty International reports. On the day following his arrest, Mutamba’s home was searched by men in civilian clothes who seized some of his documents.
The DRC’s constitution mandates that any detained person must be handed over to the proper authorities or released within 48 hours of his or her arrest. Mutamba has been detained for over a week with no sign of progress on his case. Sign the petition demanding to know where Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba is being held, calling for his immediate release, and reminding the DRC of its obligations under international human rights standards.
Dear Minister Mwamba,
I am writing to call for the immediate disclosure of the whereabouts of Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba, who was arrested without charge and who has been held incommunicado ever since, putting him at high risk of torture, ill-treatment, and other human rights violations. Furthermore, I demand that he either be charged with an internationally-recognizable criminal offense or freed immediately.
Mutamba, who is heavily involved with a number of human rights organizations within the DRC, was arrested and forced into a jeep by several armed men wearing military uniforms. He has not been seen or heard from since despite authorities’ claims that he is in custody and will soon be brought before the court. His home was searched the day after his arrest, and men in civilian clothing seized several documents from his property.
According to the DRC’s constitution, prisoners must either be handed over to judicial authorities or released within 48 hours of their arrest. Mutamba has been detained for over a week in a clear violation of both Congolese law and international human rights standards. I urge you to correct this egregious violation of human rights–disclose Mutamba’s whereabouts and charge or release him immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr