From a letter sent to FFI by FBM, currently detained at Krome Processing Center

My name is FBM. I am a Christian musician.

First off: I apologize for entering the United State illegally because I did know it was a crime.

I was in Mexico and voluntarily turned myself in at the Texas border. Once I was called by immigration officials, I explained my situation to them, why I was trying to enter the United States.

On January 21, 2018 I participated in a political manifesto protest of the Catholic CLC* because the population did not want president Kabila to participate anymore in the election and they wanted him to free the prisoners who were part of the Saint Silvestre** (agreement).

YouTube video of January 2018 protest; 15 individuals killed in police attacks

LUCHA and FILIMBI mobilized a group of young people to participate in a march. Myself and my father were part of that group, also two of my Christian musician friends were part of it as well. When I was participating in the march, the government sent soldiers to kill us as were marching. The soldiers threw tear gas when they attacked us during the march. My father was shot and killed in front of me by the soldiers. Myself and my friend escaped the attack and got away to a camp called Munesco. After 40 minutes me and my friend went to recover my father's body.

Once I arrived to retrieve my father's corpse I was approached by a group of soldiers who threatened me, telling me if I touched my father's corpse they would kill me and my friend. After all that we did, everything possible, to retrieve my father's corpse, we did not succeed.

Security forces used tear gas against protesters in Kinshasa in January, 2018 (Photo credit: AFP)

After that the government sent a service called ANR**** (the National Intelligence Agency) to arrest all the people who participated in the march, including me and my friend. After the pain I felt from my father's death because of what the government had done to my father, me and my friend wrote a song against the government. When we began to sing the police and ANR located us and one night two of my friends went to a studio to record the song I wrote about the government. In that moment ANR arrived at the studio and kidnapped my two friends and burned down the studio where my friend was at. After all that they left a message for me telling me if I don't leave the country they will kill me. And for my friends, they have yet to be found. They have disappeared and to this day no one has heard anything of them.

On the night of January 22, 2018 I left Kinshasa for Brazzaville in Congo. There I lived for 4 months so that I could return to Kinshasa, but I kept receiving messages from ANR saying that whatever town or place I go to in Africa they would kill me because I had seen them kill another muscian in another town in Africa with my own eyes.

At this time and day they have changed presidents but the government of ex-president Kabila continues to govern the country.

I used another passport to leave Africa from Angola because all my documents were burnt in my country. When I got to Brazzaville I couldn't try and get another document because they were working together with my country, and I was worried they were going to let ANR know I was there.

In 2013 we were invited to a church in Angola where we had a concert. The producer wanted us to go perform in other places in Angola. The producer didn't have that much money to finance the trip to other places so he got me and all the other people I did music with documents so we could travel.

Because the Angola people didn't like people from Congo, when we wanted to start our tour, the Angolian government started to take out all the people from Congo who lived in Cabinda and Lunda by using force. The police were going to homes in the middle of the night, taking people out and raping the women, and married people from Congo were killed. When we heard about the killings we went back to Kinshasa.

I didn't have any idea that the producer was holding all the documents when ANR sent me messages in Brazzavile that they would kill me anywhere I was in Africa. I was obligated to call the producer to see if had the documents he had gotten for me in Angola and he said yes, because with those documents I could travel to Ecuador without a visa.

I was in Ecuador for 4 months, then I left for Colombia where I encountered taxi workers who work with the police officers to rob strangers like myself. A taxi driver took me to a place where there were no people and after a little while a police officer arrived. They robbed me of all my luggage and searched me to see if I had any money or a phone.

I had to pass a river to get to Capurgana where a woman got me a permit to cross but the documents were taken. Immigration asked me where I had received those documents from and I responded and tole them from the woman I met. After that they checked my pohne and found a picture of the passport I used to leave Africa. I explained my situation to Immigration but the language he was speaking I didn't understand to well. After I arrived at Capurgana I decided to use my real name as Congoles beacuse I didn't want to complicate my situation anymore and I wanted to be honest.

I am not a criminal. I only used that passport so I could leave my country because ANR was after me and they were going to kill me.

I entered the U.S. on April 17, 2019 and I am here at Krome in Miami, FL. I am not having money to pay the lawyer and to pay bond. We will wait for the judge's decision.

*CLC Catholic Lay Coordination Committee a group of Catholic intellectuals backed by Catholic priests and bishops.

**A non-violent citizen group that campaigns for political reform and for President Kabila to step down.

***Filimbi is a pro-democracy and civil society movement which advocates against poor governance and human rights abuses, and which demands respect for the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

****ANR The Agence Nationale de Renseignements (ANR) is a government intelligence agency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The role of the agency is to ensure "internal security and external security" of the state. The agency was strongly criticized for the disrespect of human rights by several organisations.