Fred and Yves are Free!
Congolese activists Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala walked free last week – another success for Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign Write for Rights.
A massive thank you to the 170,000 of you who stood up for Fred and Yves and demanded their release. Your solidarity and activism kept hope alive for the many youth activists at LUCHA (Lutte pour le changement or “fight for change”) – the organization that Fred and Yves belong to. LUCHA, which shared Amnesty’s Ambassador of Conscience Award this year, was instrumental in securing the men’s release, having met President Joseph Kabila just days before the two men walked free.
“I am happy to finally be free after more than 17 months of imprisonment,” said Fred. “I thank Amnesty International and all those who fought in one way or another for my release. I look forward to seeing my family and friends to continue the fight for democracy and freedom in my country.”
Although the men are free, the charges against them remain, and the two could still face the death penalty. So, our work is not over. We will continue to put pressure on the authorities to drop the charges so that Fred and Yves can truly be free. In the meantime, both men are very happy to be out of prison.
Every letter, every visit, every word has strengthened us and reinforced our determination in this long but just struggle for freedom and democracy.
“Knowing that there are people and entities such as Amnesty International that advocate and fight for equal justice, respect for human rights, gave us courage,” said Yves. “Every letter, every visit, every word has strengthened us and reinforced our determination in this long but just struggle for freedom and democracy. Thank you again.”
Fred and Yves are the latest in a string of successes for Amnesty’s 2015 Write for Rights campaign, proving that your words really do change lives. To date, five people, including Fred and Yves, have been released because of the dedicated activism of everyone who took part in the 2015 mass letter-writing campaign. Look out for how you can get involved when Write for Rights 2016 launches in December this year.
Fred and Yves are the latest in a string of successes for Amnesty’s 2015 Write for Rights campaign, proving that your words really do change lives.