I can't breathe.

The Rafto foundation recieved the following statement from Rafto laureate Bulambo Lembelembe Joshua.

I am writing this message to share with you and other collegues human rights defenders of the Rafto Foundation, the shock that I experienced after watching a video on the heinous murder of a young American (Black -American from Minneapolis).

What exactly happened? On Wednesday evening, around 5 p.m., I was in the living room with my wife, to read the various messages received on whatsApp and e-mails. While we were browsing the messages, we received a video transmitted to us by a human rights defender living in Kinshasa.

The video concerned the torture suffered by an American by the name of Georges, about 46 years old. The young man was lying under a police car, hands and feet were tied by four police officers. A police officer held the young man's neck tightly by his knees so that the young man was out of breath. He made a little cry that said «I can't breathe.»

One of the four police officers thus held this young person with the neck by his knees and three others supervised the movement of passengers. All four police officers were well armed. The helpless youngster was held on the neck until his expiration. It was in the middle of the day, in view of the passengers.

In the USA, there are states which have not yet abolished the death penalty. Should we remain silent before all these human rights violations committed in a country which is supposed to be the model of freedom and defense of human rights?

I hope you have understood my emotion. As a defender of human rights, I condemn this act of barbarism which is part of racism.

I ask you to transmit my alarm cry wherever you can.

Bulambo Lembelembe Joshua

Rafto laureate, Bulambo Lembelembe Joshua.
Rafto laureate, Bulambo Lembelembe Joshua.

Protecting human rights during covid-19

Coronavirus has changed everyday life around the world. The pandemic especially puts the human rights activists fight for human rights under pressure. Here you can follow the latest developments from around the world.