Fred Bauma

Congolese pro-democracy leader and founder of youth group LUCHA

Fred Bauma is a leader of the pro-democracy youth group LUCHA, which advocates for nonviolent, community-level change and governmental reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Known as “Congo’s Gandhi,” Bauma encourages young people to create a better future through political participation and social entrepreneurship and has led successful campaigns for improved infrastructure throughout the country. He was arrested in March 2015 and spent 18 months in prison, where he faced the death penalty for organizing peaceful protests calling for the rule of law. Amnesty International declared Bauma a prisoner of conscience, and, following international pressure on his behalf, he was released in 2016. Bauma has addressed the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington, D.C., about the state of authoritarianism in the DRC. Bauma is now executive director of Ebuteli, a Congolese research institute on politics, governance, and violence. He is also a senior fellow at the NYU Center on International Cooperation.

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