French official's son, Edmund Morel de Ville and the British Emmeline Horne, Edmond Dene Morel, whose real name was Georges Eduard Pierre Achille de Ville, born July 18 1873 Avenue d'Eylau in Paris. He lost his father at four years and was raised by his mother and stepfather. Her mother Emmeline Deville then worked as a teacher in order to send his son to "Madras House School" at Eastbourne in the county of East Sussex and the "Bedford Modern School" in the county of Bedfordshire, Great Britain.
In 1888 he abandoned his studies and worked as a clerk in a bank Parisian. In 1891, he was hired as a clerk by the "Elder Dempster," a shipping company in Liverpool which had the monopoly of exports from the Congo Free State between Boma and Antwerp.
The odious traffic of Leopold II.
Based in Antwerp, he was struck by the inequality of trade conducted between the Congo and Belgium. From Congo, are mainly rubber and ivory, while from Belgium only leave weapons, ammunition and soldiers sent to the Congo. In addition note that the numbers do not match the trade statistics published in the Official Journal of the Congo Free State. When reporting these anomalies, he is pressurized and Leopold II tried to bribe him. He concludes that it is dealing with slavery pure and simple.
The influence of two women: Mary Richardson and Mary Henrietta Kingsley.
He obtained British nationality after five years of efforts. He anglicized his name to "Edmund Dene Morel," and marry Mary Richardson who will give him five children. Influenced by the ideas of the anthropologist Mary Henrietta Kingsley (1862-1900) whose works "Travels in West Africa (1892)" and "West Africa Studies (1899)" advocated the defense of indigenous Africans, he wrote articles critical of the "Foreign Office" that UK does nothing to promote decolonization in Africa.
The Association for the Reform of the Congo.
In 1903, he met the British Consul from EIC, the Irishman Roger Casement (1864-1916) with whom he founded January 24, 1904, the "Congo Reform Association," the first international movement in defense of human rights during the 20th century.
To make an international impact of their project, "Congo Reform Association" was inaugurated March 23, 1904 before an audience of more than a thousand prominent personalities (Deputies, Lords, Counts, Dignitaries of Churches, etc ...) . With its association, then he began a crusade against Leopold II, King of the Belgians and the owner of the Congo Free State. He organizes over 200 events for the Congo to the United States and nearly 300 events a year in England.
He published several articles in the "Speaker" under the revealing title of "The Congo Scandal." In 1903, he stepping down as editor of the "West Africa" to found the "West African Mail" in which the articles appear in several figures denouncing hard atrocities agents of Leopold II and the concessionary companies of the Independent State of Congo. Morel's accusations are based on documents, photos and irrefutable evidence from local informants, some of Nigeria as a young officer of the EIC, Hezekiah Andrew Shanu (1858-1905), paid with their lives that audacity.
In 1904 and 1906, he publishes two books, "King Leopold's Rule in Africa" and "Red Rubber - The story of the rubber slave trade That flourished in Congo in the Year of Grace 1906 (1906)" that contribute greatly to the annexation of the Congo by Belgium in 1908. This international crusade earned him many admirers around the world, but also the hatred of Belgians and supporters of the Belgian monarch.
The international opprobrium of the Congo Free State.
Under pressure from the United States of America and especially his cousin, King Edward VII of England (1841-1910) who wanted "The Congolese government governs with humanity in the spirit of the Berlin conference," HM Leopold II ordered the creation of an "impartial" international commission of inquiry.
Created July 24, 1904, is chaired by the attorney general of the Belgian Court of Cassation, Emile Janssens, Baron Italian Giacomo Nisco, former counsel to the Court of Appeal of Naples and Acting President of the Court of Appeal Boma since 1897, the Catholic lawyer Swiss Edmund von Schumacher, advise of the Canton of Lucerne, a member of the Committee on Justice (who died shortly after), brother of the Belgian Consul in Lucerne. The rapporteur of the Committee was Denym Victor, deputy public prosecutor in Antwerp, assisted by a British interpreter secretary, Henry Gregory, cousin of Emile Janssens. The commission is staying in the Congo on 5 October 1904 and February 21, 1905 survey of Boma in Stanleyville (Kisangani). For the first time the Congolese victims had expressed.
The Committee does not have to prove the innocence of the officers of the Independent State of Congo and the Anglo-Belgian Indian Rubber (ABIR). Thus, the International Commission of Inquiry dispatched to Congo in 1904 and 1905 acknowledged that soldiers had been instructed to cut off the hands of the natives in order to demonstrate the proper use of cartridges supplied.
Outraged, his opponents and parliamentarians Belgian Socialists demanded outright annexation of Congo by Belgium. A humiliation for the Belgian monarch who cried until his death December 17, 1909 its "inalienable right of the Congo, the fruit of his labor."
Indeed, in 1905, exploitation of the Congo had reported between 125 million and 500 million euros today. That is to say, triple the public debt of 150 million francs (never repaid) it had contracted for its operation.
But in return, the Holocaust had taken at least 10 millions Congolese or half the population! This is one of the greatest genocide of modern times.
At his funeral Dec. 22, 1909, his funeral procession passed through Brussels in the rain and booing. Leopold was the most hated man in the time. But Belgium was in need of his myth to colonize the Congo! Colonial propaganda made a civilization leader, a political genius, a visionary, a builder king ... !
Challenger of Winston Churchill.
After the liquidation of the "Congo Reform Association" in 1913, Morel continues to write books. In 1904, with two other peace activists from the liberal party: Normal Angell (1872-1967) of the Liberal Party and James Ramsey MacDonald (1866-1937) of Labour Party, he founded the "Union of Democratic Control," a political party opposed to the entry of the United Kingdom in the First World War. In 1917, he was sentenced for his political opinions to six months that he served at the London prison of Pentonville.
In April 1918, he joined the "Independent Labour Party." In 1922, 1923 and 1924 he was elected to the Commons after defeating a certain Winston Churchill (1874-1965) in Dundee (Scotland). Candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize at age 51, he died of a heart attack on a farm near Bovey Tracey in the county of Devonshire November 12, 1924.
"Two generations will succeed before the wounds are healed the Congo," he predicted.