Join with Amnesty International to speak up for Congolese youth
In the lead up to the 2016 elections, Congolese authorities have increasingly suppressed freedoms. The security forces have violently repressed debates on President Kabila’s silence about whether or not he will run for a third term. They have also repressed criticism of the ruling party’s attempts to change the constitution to allow the President to run for another term or extend his current mandate beyond the constitution’s deadlines.
On 16 February, six youths were arrested in Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu. Authorities forced their way into a house where the six Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA) activists had spent the night preparing messages for the general strike, called for by the opposition and civil society. The general strike was in protest against attempts to delay preparations for the 2016 general elections, which would extend President Kabila’s rule beyond the timeframe outlined in the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
On the same day, two other LUCHA activists were arrested in Kinshasa. On the eve of their arrest, another youth activist was arrested after meeting the two LUCHA activists. The trial of the three is ongoing. The nine youth activists are prisoners of conscience.
Amnesty International’s efforts
Amnesty International are putting together a campaign to ask the Minister of Justice to release the youth detained in Goma immediately and unconditionally.
“I write to express my concern about the detention of six young people arrested on 16 February 2016 as they were preparing for a general strike called by opposition and civil society organizations.
The six youth, namely Rebecca Kavugho, Serge Sivyavugha, Justin Kambale Mutsongo, Melka Kamundu, John Anipenda, and Ghislain Muhiwa, were convicted to six months in prison for inciting public disobedience by the appeal Court in Goma on 4 March 2016.
I ask you to release the six young activists immediately and unconditionally. They are detained solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. I urge you to respect the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Supporting Amnesty International
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.
The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.
The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:
How you can help
Sign your name to the campaign to help free these Congolese youths.