Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 3 June 2010, Floribert Chebeya, a well-known human rights activist, was found murdered in his car. The body of Fidèle Bazana, his driver, was not found. Although crudely made to seem like a sex crime, it quickly became apparent that they were assassinated by the henchmen of the Congolese chief of police, General Numbi. Floribert's funeral on the eve of the 50th anniversary of national independence was marked by large demonstrations. Five months later, a mega-trial began in a Kinshasa military courtroom....
Directed by Thierry Michel
2011, Belgium, Documentary, 1h36min, Lingala/French subtitled
Administration of production
Secretary of production
Les films de la Passerelle
Cinema version: 96 min
TV version : 58 et 70min
Support : HD - Beta Digit
Versions : French, English, Dutch
The human rights activist, Floribert Chebeya, was a personality in Congolese civil society, often consulted by the United Nations regarding human rights questions in Central Africa. He fought in the most sensitive fields from the end of the eighties on. Floribert Chebeya was internationally recognised for his integrity and his obstinate defence of dossiers on assassinations, repression and corruption. In May 2010, two weeks before his assassination, Floribert Chebeya denounced the cost of the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the Independence of the Congo in the face of the fact that the bulk of the Congolese population lived in poverty. He announced his filing of a complaint against John Numbi before the International Criminal Court for the massacre of a Bas Congo tribe. For years, he had been the target of threats, intimidation and arrests by the Congolese authorities.
General John NUMBI
General John Numbi BanzaTambo, 48, chief of the Congolese police, officially suspended after the death of Floribert Chebeya for the purposes of the investigation, is a close collaborator of President Joseph Kabila. Numbi is the man who deals with delicate missions. It is he, with his famous Simba Batallion, who flew to the aid of Kabila during his confrontation with the militiamen of Jean-Pierre Bemba, in Kinshasa, in March 2007, following his defeat during the presidential elections. It was also he who was given the task of negotiating with Laurent Nkunda, the former rebel leader, and with coordinating Operation Umoja wetu, jointly led in North Kivu by the Congolese and Rwandan armies in 2009 against the rebel forces. Finally, he also quashed the demonstrations of the dissident BundudiaKongo movement, in Bas Congo, which resulted in dozens of deaths.
Annie CHEBEYA, Floribert's wife
Annie Chebeya accompanied Floribert through thick and thin in his life as a human rights activist. Today, she has taken refuge in Montreal, Canada, with her five children. But Annie has not, for all that, given up Floribert's cause and has followed the trial closely from Montreal, regularly intervening over the Internet to denounce the drifts in procedure and above all to the absence on the accused bench of the person whom she considers to be the main suspect and probable guilty party, General Numbi.
Marie-José BAZANA, wife of the missing chauffeur
Marie-José Bazana is the wife of Fidel Bazana. The youngest of her eight children is just 5 years old. She lived near to the family of Floribert to whom her husband, Floribert's chauffeur, was related. Fear, and above all, a sense of abandonment havegnawed at her. Despite constant efforts, she has not been able to retrieve the body of her husband. At the end of the trial she obtained a visa for herself and her family and has taken refuge in France.
Colonel Daniel MUKALAYWA MATESO
Head of Special Services and John Numbi's right-hand man, it is this man who contacted Floribert Chebeya to confirm the time of his appointment with General Numbi. He is considered to be the coordinator of Chebeya's assassination. He and his team are suspected of interfering with the inquiry, seizing evidence, and hindering investigations. He is accused of conspiracy, kidnapping, assassination and terrorism. Despite his repeated denials, the Military Court of Kinshasa handed hima death sentence. But is he the main man behind the crime? The families of the victims and the NGOs have their doubts.
The Cameroonian witness Gomer MARTEL
Veritable cornerstone of the trial, Gomer Martel, a Cameroonian who lived in DRC for twenty years, is the sole witness to the presence of Floribert Chebeya in the police premises on the day of his assassination. After having given testimony, he became the victim of pressure and threats and went into hiding before fleeing abroad, leaving all his possessions behind him in DRC.
Documentary presented as a sneak preview at Festival des Libertés 2011 (Brussels, Belgium) and followed by a discussion with Thierry Michel (filmmaker, journalist and photographer)
Kinshasa in Democratische Republiek Congo. Op 3 juni 2010 wordt de bekende mensenrechtenactivist, Floribert Chebeya, vermoord teruggevonden in zijn wagen. Eerst wordt koudweg gemeld dat het om een seksueel misdrijf gaat. Al snel blijkt dat hij is vermoord door mensen van de dienst van de bekende generaal John Numbi, het hoofd van de nationale politie. De begrafenis van Floribert, op de vooravond van de vijftigste verjaardag van de Congolese onafhankelijkheid, leidt tot massale betogingen. Vijf maanden later begint een megaproces voor de militaire rechtbank in Kinshasa…
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 3 June 2010, Floribert Chebeya, a well-known human rights activist, was found murdered in his car. The body of Fidèle Bazana, his driver, was not found. Although crudely made to seem like a sex crime, it quickly became apparent that he was assassinated by the henchmen of the Congolese chief of police, General Numbi. Floribert's funeral on the eve of the 50th anniversary of national independence was marked by large demonstrations. Five months later, a mega-trial began in a Kinshasa military courtroom....
Directed by Thierry Michel, 2011, Belgium, Documentary, 1h30min, Lingala/French subtitled