CAGE Africa is supporting an application to the UN for the release of Abdikadir Isse Kassim, who has been imprisoned without charge or trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since April this year in a flagrant abuse of due process.
Kassim, a Somalian national, was arrested while travelling for business between South Africa and the DRC. After he was arrested he was forced to sign documents at gunpoint. He is now being held in Camp Kimpempe, a military camp in Lumbabashi.
The case appears to revolve around the bribe of a corrupt official by a Zambian national with whom Kassim once had business dealings. The official, a Major Tony Ilunga Nkulu, is now in charge of Kassim’s case.
Kassim has appealed to members of intelligence and the Attorney-General in the DRC for assistance but both have refused since the DRC President Joseph Kabila’s mother is also linked to the case.
“He has had no dealings with the State President’s mother,” said Kassim’s wife Katra, who on her application to the UN detailed how a Zambian national with whom her husband once dealt, may have “done [the President’s mother] down”.
“I don’t have a problem with the President’s mother nor any of his family members,” said Kassim from prison. “But the Zambian national bribed Major Nkulu, and the Major refused to take me to the court to see my lawyers. He said he will convince the President’s family that he will take me to prison in Kinshasa and I will never see the Court in Congo because the justice belongs to him.”
Major Nkulu is demanding that Kassim pay a bribe of US$1.386million to secure his release.
CAGE Africa supports the application issued by Kassim’s wife calling for the UN to urgently intervene to secure Kassim’s release in line with international law.
“Kassim’s human rights are being violated and there has been no due process at all,” says CAGE Africa member Feroze Boda.
“There have also been threats made to his life and his person. This is a huge stress on the family as his wife is residing in South Africa as a refugee and they have two small children.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)