Statement By Marie Harf on Detention of Youth Activists in the D.R. Congo

The United States remains deeply concerned by the ongoing detention, without formal charges or regular access to legal counsel, of youth activists by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  At least three youth members of the “Filimbi” movement detained during a peaceful civil society event in the capital Kinshasa have been held since March 15, while at least four members of the “Lucha” organization later detained during a peaceful protest in the North Kivu provincial capital Goma also remain in custody.

The United States calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure that these detainees, and all detainees, are afforded full due process and released immediately if no charges are warranted.  As the Democratic Republic of the Congo enters its electoral cycle, it is especially important that the Government uphold the constitutional rights of all citizens to the freedoms of assembly and expression.