World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


DR Congo: Human rights defender assassinated


Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Prominent human rights defender assassinated

The Congolese government must immediately start thorough and independent investigations into yesterday’s assassination of human rights activist Pascal Kabungulu Kibembi, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Front Line said today.

Pascal Kabungulu was the Secretary-General of Héritiers de la Justice (Heirs of Justice), a leading human rights organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was also the Vice-President of the regional umbrella Ligue des Droits de l’Homme dans la Région des Grands Lacs (LDGL).

Pascal Kabungulu was assassinated in his home in Bukavu, eastern Congo, in the early hours of July 31. Three armed men in uniform broke into his house, dragged him out of his bedroom and shot him in front of his family. Family members reported that just before his execution the attackers said, “We were looking for you and today is the day of your death.” The men stole Mr. Kabungulu’s laptop, a television and a tape recorder.

“Pascal Kabungulu was a highly regarded and courageous defender of human rights who gave hope to ordinary people afflicted by war and misery,” the three international human rights organizations said in a joint statement. “Killing a human rights defender means spreading fear across whole communities in Congo.”

Héritiers de la Justice is a well-known human rights group that has uncovered grave human rights abuses, including war crimes in eastern DRC. Created in 1991, the organization has been an independent critic of the governments of former Presidents Mobutu Sese Seko, Laurent-Désiré Kabila and the current transitional authorities under Joseph Kabila. The organization has also documented grave abuses by armed groups operating in eastern Congo. Pascal Kabungulu joined Héritiers de la Justice in the mid-1990s and became its Secretary-General in 1999. He had been planning to leave Héritiers de la Justice to take up a position at the LDGL secretariat in Kigali, Rwanda.

The human rights organizations said that threats against human rights defenders in eastern DRC have been on the rise. Since late last year, a growing number of human rights activists across eastern Congo have received death threats after denouncing serious human rights abuses by provincial authorities. Some activists have had to flee the country fearing for their lives. Several members of Mr. Kabungulu’s organization, Héritiers de la Justice, based in more rural areas, have been assassinated in the past.

“The government must urgently carry out thorough and independent investigations into Pascal Kabungulu’s assassination, and prosecute those responsible,” the organizations said. ”The insecurity of South Kivu cannot be a pretext for inaction. Those who defend the rights of others must be allowed to continue their work free of harassment and persecution.”

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Front Line also called on the Congolese transitional government to develop an effective plan for the protection of human rights defenders, and asked the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Congo, MONUC, to provide the government with technical and logistical assistance in this endeavor.

Take action! Democratic Republic of Congo: Human Rights activists need your support - http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maadOBFabi72tbb0hPub/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news