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The facts as submitted by the author
The author claims he worked in Kinshasa between 1992 and 1997 as an employee of a
company called Hyochade, belonging to Mr. Kongolo Mobutu, the son of former
President Mobutu. According to the author, this company was a cover for plundering the wealth
of the country in various ways, such as extorting money from foreign businessmen or organizing
demonstrations that required State authorization. It paid no taxes and had no administrative
obligations. Acting on behalf of the regime, it also carried out propaganda activities and kept
track of members of the political opposition in order to keep them under some kind of control.
The author explains that his work consisted of acting as an intermediary in certain
business transactions, such as obtaining permits for foreign businessmen. But his responsibilities
also included collecting information on members of the opposition within a particular
geographical area and denouncing any subversive activities. One day, he denounced a friend’s
father, who was subsequently tortured to death. The author states that he reported to his
supervisors at least every two months and was generously paid. In addition to his salary, he
received a bonus when he denounced someone and he enjoyed a whole range of other privileges.
During this period, he was warned by both friends and enemies that his activities might
one day be dangerous for him. His parents, particularly his father, tried to persuade him to leave
the job and return to university. The author eventually left Hyochade in January 1997 and stayed
with his parents while waiting for an opportunity to go back to university.
On 17 May 1997, the rebellion led by Mr. Kabila reached Kinshasa. On the night
of 18 June 1997, soldiers burst into the author’s parents’ house to arrest him. As he was not
there, the soldiers arrested his father. When he learned what had happened to his family, the
author decided to go into hiding in Bas-Zaire, where he stayed with a friend until
mid-September. He then caught typhoid fever and decided to return to Kinshasa, where he
stayed with his sister.
On 6 October 1997, his father was released on condition that he report to the military post
every two weeks until the author returned. On the day he was released, the father came to visit
the author, but was followed by three plain-clothes officers with an arrest warrant and a
photograph of him. The author was arrested and taken to the Kokolo military camp. His father
was allowed to accompany him only as far as the entrance.
The author states that he was kept in isolation in a cell for three days without food. He
was then taken to the office of the camp commander, where he was informed that he was
accused of treason, extortion and complicity in murder. He denied the charges, but was ordered
by the commander to be taken away to another cell, where he received a beating, including
blows to his genitals, from several soldiers. He was in hospital until 25 November 1997, when a
doctor, who had been bribed by his sister, helped him to escape. He decided to leave the country
On arriving in Switzerland, on 1 December 1997, he applied for asylum. His application
was turned down by the Federal Office for Refugees on 25 March 1998. He then submitted an

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