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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts’ Statement on Former Nebraskan Imprisoned in Congo

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement calling on the Republic of the Congo to release Marcel Pika.  Mr. Pika, a former resident of Lincoln, has been held in prison without charges for over a year in the Congo.

“The Republic of the Congo has unlawfully imprisoned Mr. Pika, a former Nebraskan, without formal charges.  He has been incarcerated for over a year and has health concerns that must be addressed.  The Congo should release him to U.S. authorities immediately.  I have urged members of our federal delegation and officials at the U.S. Department of State to continue to do everything in their power to secure the safe release of Mr. Pika.”

Marcel Pika, 70, is a retired colonel who previously served in the Republic of the Congo’s military and fled the country in the late 1990’s.  In 1999, he and his family came to Lincoln as refugees before returning to the Republic of the Congo in 2007 with his wife.  Shortly after the country’s 2016 elections, Mr. Pika was arrested in his home with no official charges against him.