gloria liberee

DR Congo: kidnapped female political activist released after 11 days in secret detention

Gloria Sengha, a 22-year-old DRC political activist who was kidnapped on December 16 by unknown gunmen, was released on Tuesday after 11 days in detention in an undisclosed location around the capital Kinshasa, news website Actualités CD reported this week.

Despite being beaten and questioned for several hours by agents of the ANR (intelligence services) and the Presidential Guard, Sengha remains defiant, vowing to continue her fight for democracy and human rights until her death.

“I will never give up. What I went through is part of life. This experience has even strengthened my struggle because I will fight until I die,” the fiery LUCHA activist said after her release.

She recounted her ordeal to Actualités CD: “I was kidnapped along the 24 November Avenue by unknown men in plainclothes who pointed their guns at me and threw me inside a 4×4 vehicle.

“They knew my name. Inside the car, there was another militant that was kidnapped and an officer of the Military Police and another one from the Presidential Guard.

“They took everything I had: US$120 and my phone. They kept asking me questions about LUCHA funding.  They then took us to Militray Camp Tshatshi, where they threw me in a cell. It’s in there where I have been sitting in the past 10 days. They also beat me up, my lips were bleeding.

“I was auditioned on Christmas Day and on Monday, we were taken to the ANR locations located near the Prime Minister’s offices, and Tuesday we were released.”

LUCHA (Lutte pour le Changement, Struggle for Change) is a civil society youth movement, which alongside Filimbi (whistle in kiSwahili), is fighting for good governance, true democracy, human rights and the respect for the Constitution in the DRC.

The Congolese government despises these two movements and has ordered the arrest and torture of dozens of their members and sentenced them to lengthy jail terms, while others have simply disappeared.

More than 460 people have been arrested and disappeared since December 19, the date that marked the end of Joseph Kabila’s 15-year rule at the helm of this vast and mineral-rich Central African nation.

DRC Security forces shot dead 40 anti-Kabila protestors and wounded 630 on 19-20 December, Human Rights Watch said.

Photo: Gloria Sengha, Congolese political activist kidnapped 10 days ago, is free and alive. Credit: ACCD


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