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Democratic Republic of Congo: Three detainees risk death

, Index number: AFR 62/012/2009

Three men are known to have been subjected to enforced disappearance after they were secretly removed from military detention in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa, on 22 June 2009. Their lives are in danger.

UA: 187/09, Index: AFR 62/012/2009 DRC Date: 13 July 2009
Three men are known to have been subjected to enforced disappearance after they were
secretly removed from military detention in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital,
Kinshasa, on 22 June. Their lives are in danger.
Jean-Pierre Sido Yambanu was arrested on 17 April at his home in the Ngaliema district of Kinshasa by
plainclothes and uniformed police. He was held overnight at the General Inspectorate of the National Police
(IG-PNC) police station and then transferred to military police custody in Camp Kokolo, in Kinshasa. He was
admitted to Kokolo Military Hospital on 18 May to undergo surgery for a tumour, but was forcibly taken back to
his cell on 20 June, apparently before he had fully recovered.
Church pastor Rémy Bongongo Lumunu was arrested on 29 April in the Gombe district of Kinshasa and taken
to the IG-PNC; a week later he was transferred to the military police detention facility in Camp Kokolo. Security
guard Loth Loota L'Anongo, who is a cousin of Rémy Bongongo Lumunu, was arrested by a group of soldiers at
his home in Ngaliema district during the night of 29 April and also taken to the IG-PNC. According to an
eyewitness, police and soldiers at the IG-PNC beat him with rifle-butts and threatened him with execution. He
too was transferred to Camp Kokolo, where he was later described as having his face disfigured, swollen and
covered in blood.
The men were apparently suspected of plotting to overthrow the government, but were never charged or brought
before a court. They were removed from military police holding cells in camp Kokolo on the night of 22/23 June
to an unknown destination. Efforts by their relatives and human rights activists to find them have been without
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in French, English or your own language:
demanding that the authorities disclose, immediately and publicly, the whereabouts of Jean-Pierre Sido
Yambanu, Rémy Bongongo Lumuna and Loth Loota L’Anongo, who were taken secretly from military detention
in Camp Kokolo, Kinshasa, on the night of 22 June.
calling on the authorities to allow the men immediate visits from their families and legal representatives.
And any medical attention they may require;
urging them to ensure that the three men are brought promptly before a civilian judge to determine the
legality of their arrest.
Son Excellence Joseph Kabila
Président de la République
Palais de la Nation
Avenue de Lemera
Democratic Republic of Congo
E-mail: presipp@yahoo.fr
Salutation: Dear President/
Son Excellence Monsieur le Président
National Police General Inspector
General John Numbi Banza
Inspecteur Général de la Police
Nationale Congolaise
Democratic Republic of Congo
E-mail: igpncrdc@micronet.cd
Salutation: Dear Inspector
Monsieur l’Inspecteur Général
Chief Military Prosecutor
General Joseph Ponde
Auditeur Général des FARDC
Auditorat Général des FARDC
Democratic Republic of Congo
Salutation: Dear Auditor
Monsieur l’Auditeur Général
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Date: 13 July 2009
The three men all come from Equateur province, the home of opposition politician and former armed opposition
group leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who is now in International Criminal Court custody. Amnesty International and
Congolese human rights NGOs have documented numerous cases of arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment,
including rape in custody, extrajudicial executions, suspicious deaths in custody and enforced disappearance of
people from this province, accused often solely on the basis of their geographic and ethnic origins of being Bemba
supporters and of plotting to overthrow the government.
Under Article 18 of the 200/6 Constitution of the DRC, all people detained have the right to immediate contact with
their families and legal representatives, and should be told immediately why they have been arrested. The initial
period of detention (garde à vue) must not exceed 48 hours, after which the detainee must be brought before a
judge or be released. All detainees must be treated so as to preserve their life, physical and mental health and
Article 156 of the Constitution states that military jurisdictions are empowered to deal only with offences committed
by members of the DRC’s armed forces and police. The military continue, however, to arrest and detain civilians for
a range of offences on the basis of an outdated 2002 Military Penal Code.
UA: 187/09, Index: AFR 62/012/2009, Issue Date: 13 July 2009

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