Free French and Moland!

”The death cell in Congo”

(We submit Fredrik Græsvik’s article from TV2 with permission).

The uniformed guard unlocks the barred door and waves us in between the brick wall that separates the categories of prisoners.

We stand there for a while in the narrow gate. The heat is unbearable. Joshua French tear off his green and orange prison shirt he has on over his shirt.

He is soaked in sweat after standing up straight before the tribunal for hours in the temporary courtroom.

I lost count a long time ago how many times I’ve been inside the walls of the N’dolo prison.  

It’s the military prison in the Congolese capital that houses the enemies of the democrat republic of Congo.


I’ve been here during the work on a documentary and reports. But I’ve never gotten as far in as now.

Not even when the prison leaders thought I just was a friend of the death sentenced Norwegians.

Not even when the guards referred to me as the Norwegian diplomat, and I didn’t bother correcting them.

It’s not sensational that journalists don’t get entry in the innermost chambers.

A new barred door opens and we move further in.

The defendant, his Norwegian lawyer and me. Behind us are the military tribunal’s judges, lawyers, prison employees, the defendant’s mother and even more journalists.

Some friendly faces smiles, bonjour! Some of the prisoners seem known. One shakes my hand.

It’s hot. The sweat is pouring.

Through another barred door and in to a hall that is a little cooler with cells on both sides.

-I live there, Joshua points to the nearest iron door that is wide open.

Yes, there he lives with eleven other prisoners.

But that is not where we are going now. We are going further in to the hall, almost to the end of the hall on our right.

To what were Tjostolv Moland and Joshua French’s home after they were transferred here to Kinshasa in 2011. All the time until the summer night Tjostolv died last year.

No one can find the key, and a hacksaw is found. Lawyers and judges are going on an inspection of the crime scene. They saw in the heat and the door is open.

Only a small group of people can fit into the room. A guard stops me at first, Fredrik is going to be here, Joshua French says, and so it is.

More and more people pushed into the small cell to see Joshua explain what happened that night, the two of them drank a lot of alcohol, and one of them died.

All the spiders web witnesses that the cell has been locked down since the police did their investigations in August.

A bunk bed with dusty mattresses. There are razors and board games on a shelf.

A TV and a DVD player in the corner. It’s probably still there, the movie they saw that night the feelings took over.

The documentary about Moland and French

Sentenced to death and left in Congo.

A movie that does not address the question of guilt from the trials in 2009 but addresses the unworthy circus of a trial uswho were present in Kisangani experienced.

Unworthy in all measurable standards. I know the content well of the last movie Tjostolv Moland saw. I made it.

There is a copy of “Triogia sucia de La Habana” (the dirty Havana-trilogy) written by the Cuban writer Pedro Juan Gutierrez.

This is also covered in dust. There is a yellow newspaper on the floor. From December 2012. Tjostolv saved a newspaper from his hometown.

The hometown he would never return to.

What was going to be the great African dream ended brutally on a death cell in Congo.

Two and a half times two and a half meters, included the almost built in bathroom with a stinking toilet and the shower were Joshua explains he found Tjostolv.

A 20 cm pipe sticks out of the wall under the ceiling. Sweaty faces of the judges pays attention when Joshua explains.

High up on the wall there are two small openings without glass. I look up at the iron bar and the trees outside and the sky behind.

He died in here a summer night last year.

One of Norway’s two death sentenced prisoners. The other one is still alive.

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