Human rights defender Fidèle Bazana was abducted on June 01, 2010, together with Floribert Chebeya whose lifeless body was found the next day on a road out of Kinshasa. To date the body of Fidèle Bazana was never found.
Read Fidèle Bazana’s story
Member and driver of the Voice of the Voiceless for Human Rights (Voix des sans voix pour les droits de l’Homme), Fidèle Bazana Edadi was working alongside Floribert Chebeya, well-known director of the organisation.
Fidèle Bazana is survived by his wife and seven children.
On June 01, 2010, Fidèle Bazana accompanied Floribert Chebeya, who had been summoned to the office of the Congolese national police Inspector General (IGPNC) to meet General John Numbi, Head of the Congolese National Police. They both disappeared during the day. Although the visit of the two human rights defenders within IGPNC’s premises was not recorded, Floribert Chebeya’s wife did get a message from her husband notifying her of their arrival to the place. Furthermore, an eye witness confirmed seeing Fidèle Bazana being threatened on the evening of June 1, 2010, in front of IGPNC’s headquarters. The lifeless body of Floribert Chebeya was found by the police on the morning of June 02, 2010, in his car on a road out of Kinshasa. On June 4, 2010, after they were informed by police officers that Fidèle Bazana’s body was at Kinshasa’s general hospital’s morgue, the family of Fidèle Bazana went there but was denied access to the body as the personnel denied its presence within the morgue. Although the body of Fidèle Bazana was never returned to his family, on March 14, 2011, Kinshasa-Gombe Tribunal issued a death certificate. On March 24, 2011, Fidèle Bazana’s case was requalified from abduction to murder.
“Justice has not been served. Fidèle’s body was never returned to us. It was a sham trial and a travesty of justice. Fidèle was courageous, fearless. Even in places where his colleagues were reluctant to go, he would go and he knew how to rescue his companions from perilous situations” – Marie-José Bazana, Fidèle’s widow.
Status of investigation into Fidèle Bazana’s assassination
On 23 June 2011, following a trial marked by numerous incidents, a military court in Kinshasa acknowledged the civil responsibility of the Congolese State in the abduction of Fidèle Bazana and the murder of Floribert Chebeya and convicted five of the eight police officers accused. Four were sentenced to death and one to life imprisonment. Three of those condemned are still on the run. On September 17, 2015, an Appeal Military Court significantly reduced the sentences. Three of the police officers initially sentenced have since been acquitted. Furthermore, Congolese authorities have failed to institute proceedings to investigate the role played by General John Numbi, then Head of the Congolese National Police (PNC), despite serious evidence, testimonies and the complaints filed by the families of the two human rights defenders.
In addition, Paul Mwilambwe, major in the PNC and head of the security for General John Numbi at the time of Fidèle Bazana’s abduction, was indicted in Senegal on January 8, 2015. His indictment follows a complaint filed by FIDH and families of Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana for torture based on the principle of universal jurisdiction.