Family's fears for British filmmaker arrested without charge in the Congo

By Daily Mail Reporter

The family of a British filmmaker held without charge

in the Congo said today they were growing

increasingly concerned for his safety

after he was transferred to prison.

Graham Hughes, 30, was arrested in Brazzaville,

the capital of the Republic of Congo, earlier this week.

He was detained while trying to raise money

for charity by travelling around the world

without using air travel.

Police arrested him at a checkpoint after officers

accused him of taking pictures of

political figures, claims he vehemently denies.

His family are growing increasingly concerned

after they were told today that he had been

transferred from a police station

to one of the impoverished

country's notorious prisons.

Mr Hughes' brother Alex

explained: 'We are extremely worried

about this latest development.

'We were told by the consulate out there

that he's been moved to prison,

but he has still not been charged with anything.

'I managed to speak to him briefly yesterday

and he was apprehensive to say the least

as he has not been told what he is

supposed to have done.

'I've been trying to call him all day today

but his phone just keeps ringing out.

'The claims he has pictures of the politician

are absolute rubbish, we are now really

relying on the Foreign Office to help him out.'

Congo is regarded as one of the

most dangerous countries in the world.

A long-running war tipped the central African country

into chaos resulting in a widespread

humanitarian crisis.

The war claimed an estimated three million lives,

either as a direct result of fighting

or because of disease and malnutrition.

Mr Hughes had gone to the city as part of

a challenge to travel to the 192 UN

member states by public transport.

The video director sent a message to his family

in Liverpool earlier this week saying: 'Arrested again.

I'm spending the night in the police station,

no charge, no lawyer, no sense.'

Another message said: 'They don't intend

to let me go. No-one knows where I am.'

This is not the first time Mr Hughes has run

into trouble in the country, the adventurer

was also arrested in June on Santiago,

the largest of Cape Verde islands,

on suspicion of entering the country illegally.

But he was released without charge

after a week, and his family are praying

for a similar conclusion in the Congo.

The filmmaker's phone, tapes, camera

and passport have all been confiscated.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: 'We can

confirm a British national was detained

in the Republic of Congo on September 11.

We are providing consular assistance.'

Mr Hughes left his West Derby home in January

on the 12-month charity mission,

which is raising money for WaterAid.

He hopes to raise £1 million on the 56,000-mile trip,

which he is documenting on camera

for Lonely Planet Television

and National Geographic.

Link here

             J-L K.
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