On June 10, 2022, soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) raided and searched the home of Alphonse Maindo, a political science professor at the University of Kisangani.
In a Twitter post on the night of the raid, Maindo shared that the authorities did not notify him of the reason for their actions, stating “They demand to enter the enclosure. They don’t say why. I do not open.”
FARDC officers claimed that they raided Maindo’s home because they suspected him of collaborating with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group, and using his residence to house Rwandan soldiers. However, sources have confirmed that authorities did not find evidence of such activity. Congolese human rights activists reportedly believe that the raid was in retaliation for statements made by Maindo at a conference on June 6, 2022, urging the President of the DRC to support the creation of an international criminal tribunal on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the apparent arbitrary investigation and raid of the home of a scholar in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, and academic freedom – conduct that is protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a party. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, arbitrary criminal investigations and related actions undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.