Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala went to an event about youth and democracy last year — and never returned home.
Apparently, the Congolese authorities didn't like the idea of a pro-democracy forum so close to Congo's next, er, act of democracy — its presidential elections, scheduled for later this year.
Fred and Yves were turned over to Congolese intelligence officers. Fred was kept for 50 days, Yves for 40, without access to lawyers, or phone calls to family — and without being charged with any crime.
Eventually they were accused of plotting to overthrow the government and labeled "terrorists." They stayed in prison for more than 500 days. Until just this week.
They were finally released!
The charges against Fred and Yves haven't been dropped, and they could face the death penalty if convicted. But this week, they're the happiest guys in the world. See for yourself.
Jina Moore is the global women's rights correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Berlin.
Contact Jina Moore at email@example.com.
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