July 16, 2017
L4L is concerned about the arrest and detention of lawyer Sylva Mbikayi. On 23 June 2017, Sylva Mbikayi was arrested in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, when he attempted to visit Jean-Marie Kalonji who was arrested by military security forces a few hours earlier.
We were informed that Mr. Mbikayi was arrested without a warrant and without being informed about the reasons for his arrest, when he visited the Military Intelligence Headquarters (DEMIAP) at Bumba to consult with his client, Jean-Marie Kalonji (a lawyer in training).
Earlier that day, Jean-Marie Kalonji was stopped by soldiers at an exit check-point of a military camp. When he explained that he could not show his passport as it was with an embassy where he had applied for a visa, the soldiers started questioning his nationality and searched his bag which contained flyers for a Lumumba scholarship programme set up by the youth movement Quartrieme Voie/ il est temps (the fourth way/ it is time). Hereafter he was arrested.
Sylva Mbikayi was informed immediately after the arrest of Jean-Marie Kalonji. When he arrived at the military camp where Jean-Marie Kalonji was detained, he was also arrested. Both men have been detained there to date, without access to their family members or lawyers.
L4L called on the authorities to release Sylva Mbikayi as soon as possible.
Tagged: Democratic Republic of the Congo