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Dominican Republic
14.01.02
Urgent Interventions

'D.R. Congo

Case COD 090301

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Brief description of the situation:

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by La Voix des sans Voix pour les Droits de l'Homme (VSV), a member of the OMCT network, of the arrest of Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo, journalist at the satiric newspaper "Pot-Pourri".

According to information received, Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo was arrested by three men in civilian clothes presenting themselves as agents of the National Police as he got out of a taxi on Wednesday, 28th of February 2001 at around 13h00, in front of the building of the 30th of June (Interfina) in Kinshasa/Gombe. It is alleged that these men were in possession of an mission order signed by the Commandant Kasongo Kitenge.

Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo was immediately brought to the dungeon of the Special Services of the National Police, located in the building ex-Kin-Mazière in Kinshasa/Gombe. Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo was interrogated on articles published in the edition n° 074 of the "Pot-Pourri" (23 February 2001) entitled "Kabila II (already) bewitched ?" and "Gift of invulnerability: Nephew Gaëtan publicy terrorises his escort". It is reported that Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo has been accused of defamation against the authority.

OMCT is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo. It is alleged that, after having been splashed with cold water, he was flogged 50 times with a cord.

Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo was then transfered to the dungeon of the Police Sous-Comissariat located in the ex-hotel Regina in Kinshasa/Gombe. He was allegeldy threatened with the amputation of his two legs if he did not indicate the hiding places of his colleagues at the "Pot-Pourri", notably Mr Damien, Achile Ekele and Gaspard Baïla. Their names are allegedly mentioned on the above-mentioned mission order.

Action requested:

Please write to the authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr Guy Kasongo Kilembo as well as Mr Damien, Achile Ekele and Gaspard Baïla;
ii. order his immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges or, if such charges exist, bring him before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee his procedural rights at all times;
iii. order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of his arrest and the torture in detention in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses:

President Joseph Kabila. Présidence de la République, Kinshasa-Ngaliema, République Démocratique du Congo. Fax (+ 243) 880 02 120
Minister of Justice, Ministère de la Justice, BP 3137, Kinshasa Gombé, République Démocratique du Congo. Fax : (+243) 880 55 21
Minister of Human Rights, Ministre des droits humains, Fax : (+243) 12 20 664

Geneva, 9 March 2001

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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