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
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.
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