Fortenberry Statement on Meeting with Marcel Pika

May 16, 2018
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today issued the following statement on his meeting with Marcel Pika:

“I had the great privilege today of meeting Marcel Pika,” said Fortenberry. “After years of unjust imprisonment in the Republic of the Congo, including suffering abhorrent treatment, Mr. Pika is now reunited with his family in Lincoln. He made this trip to Washington to show his appreciation for those who worked toward his release, but, more important, to ask for help in securing the release of other political prisoners who remain detained in his home country. The love and selfless dedication of the Pika family is an inspiration to our community.”

Marcel Pika, a retired colonel in the Republic of the Congo army, immigrated to the U.S. in 1999 and became a citizen in 2005. He returned to live in the Republic of the Congo in 2007 and was arrested in March of 2016. His detention, initial solitary confinement, and long imprisonment are believed to be due to his support of political opponents of the current president.

Congressman Fortenberry is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.