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Falsely accused at 14, now free!

Posted on May 02, 2017

The work of the ALARM Congo legal aid clinic forever changed the lives of a teenage boy and his family. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a legal aid clinic was established where ALARM-trained lawyers speak for the voiceless and seek justice for the vulnerable in the midst of a broken and corrupt legal system.           

The story of Jonathan is just one of the many stories being rewritten because of ALARM’s commitment to developing Christian lawyers to be servant leaders who practice Biblical justice in their communities throughout East and Central Africa. For three years, the ALARM Congo legal aid clinic persevered on Jonathan’s case at no charge to him or his family. 

Jonathan’s troubles began in 2014 when the daughter of a military officer accused him of a violent crime. Though only 14, Jonathan was imprisoned at an adult prison without the benefit of being heard by a judge. ALARM Congo legal aid stepped in, successfully petitioning for Jonathan to be transferred to a juvenile detention facility and representing him in court.

When questioned by the judges, Jonathan’s accuser finally confessed that Jonathan was, in fact, innocent. Jonathan, now 17, was acquitted on March 10. When Jonathan was found innocent and freed from detention, his family expressed their deep gratitude by delivering a goat, the most generous gift they could afford, to the ALARM Congo office in Goma. Their team of lawyers never gave up hope that Jonathan would be acquitted, reunited with his family, and reconciled back into his community. 

Jonathan and his family were destined for a life of poverty, but because of the diligence of the lawyers at the legal aid clinic, Jonathan was spared from spending his formative years in adult prison for a crime he didn’t commit; his family was saved from a life sentence of shame and brokenness; and their community was delivered from a cycle of revenge that could have reverberated for many generations. 

When you embrace reconciliation and hope through your commitment to ALARM, our staff can continue to bring hope and justice by developing leaders who reconcile broken relationships.Pictured below: Jonathon and his parents with the goat they presented to the ALARM Congo office. 

 

 

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