Tag Archives: Police

A Great Loss to the World

Floribert Chebeya Bahizire of the Voix des Sans Voix (Voice of the Voiceless) was a great human rights activist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Abused, Jailed, and tortured by the subsequent governments over the last two decades but he persevered. To say that he will be missed in a major understatement. He was one of the people in the world that lived to ensure the well being of his fellow human beings.

Chebeya was found dead on June 2 in Kinshasa (DR Congo), in his car after he had been summoned for a meeting with Police Chief General John Numbi. Activists who saw Chebeya in the morgue say that he had blood in his face and was bruised.  General Numbi, well known for his human rights abuses, murder and for his association with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Rwandan General James Kabarebe was suspended from his duties with the Congolese police. It is unclear whether there will be an independent investigation into this, but the involvement of Numbi in his death would not be surprising given the general’s past and the multiple threats received by Chebeye from police and authorities over the years.

The Joseph Kabila clique in power cannot be trusted to carry out an impartial investigations as they are close to General Numbi. The government in Kinshasa will require enourmous amount of pressure to come close to carrying out a meaningful investigation. Surprisingly, there have been no demonstrations in Kinshasa demanding such investigation. Are Congolese people that terrified in Kinshasa. If this was in Eastern Congo where militias, and foreign governments troops and their proxy rebels continue to abuse the population, kill and rape women on a daily basis, it would be understandable. However, the lack of action from the masses in Kinshasa is surprising.

The human rights activist community and the world community at large has lost an excellent advocate at a young age of 47. In the activist community, there is hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. However, Chebeye cannot be replaced by any procedure. This crime was indeed a crime against the world.

Professor Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard Black Scholar Arrested at his Home

By Eric Brown

Proff Gates
AP Photo

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., best known for his work in African-American ancestral research, was arrested last week by Cambridge, Mass., police on his own front porch. The police arrested the professor after another Harvard University employee reported to police that two black males with back packs were at the front porch of Gates’s porch and that one appeared to try to force an entry.

Professor Gates who had to use the back door to turn off the alarm and open the front door was confronted by police who proceeded to arrest him. Cambridge, Massachusetts police arrested Professor Gates in spite of having produced his identification as a Harvard professor. According to the officer at the scene, the arrest was a result of Gates having “exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior”.

One of only  20 faculty members with the honor of being “University Professors”, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 58, is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. His court date was set for August 26 and the Rev. Al  Sharpton plans to attend.

It is one thing that the neighbor called the police to alarm them of a possible burglary or some other criminal activity at Gates’s home. It is also common that the alarm would go off when you get back home from a trip as Professor Gates was returning home from a trip to China. However, the police’s arrest is difficult to explain. It will be interesting to understand what exactly was meant by “loud and tumultuous behavior” that warranted arrest. In all likelihood, this charge will be dismissed as it seems like a case of incompetence by the arresting officer.