Our Friend Freddy Mulongo has long been fighting for freedom, peace and human rights for his country of origin, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Along with other members of the Congolese exile community in France, he has notably denounced the widespread sexual crimes committed against women in the war-torn country. On December 10th, that work bore fruit with the award of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to the Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege, for his work treating women victims of rape and other forms of torture. Freddy Mulongo was at the award ceremony, as both a journalist and a peace activist.
A new book by Frédéric Anquetil tells the story of Annette Monod Leiris, a Quaker who was practically the only person able to help the thousands of Jews who were rounded up by the French Vichy authorities in July 1942, and detained in horrific conditions in a Parisian cycling stadium before being deported to the death camps.
Annette, whose role during the infamous “Vél d’Hiv” round-up is also shown in the 2010 French film “La Rafle“, went on after the war to work tirelessly for prisoners, and also helped set up the Association of Christians for the Abolition of Torture, or ACAT, which is still going strong today.
Frédéric Anquetil will be at the International Quaker Centre in Paris at 2:00 pm on Sunday, February 3, 2019 to give a talk about his book, “L’ange du Vél d’Hiv” (The Angel of the Vel d’Hiv round-up).
French Quakers held their 92nd National Assembly, or Yearly Meeting, from Saturday, October 27 to Tuesday, October 30 2018 in Paris
This year’s theme was “Despair and Confidence: Quaker Responses in this Time of Troubles”
Keynote speakers were Olivia Caeymaex, Peace Programme Lead at the Quaker Council for European Affairs in Brussels, and Paul Parker, “Recording Clerk” of British Yearly Meeting.
More info (in French) on the “Quakers in France” site