DRC: Autorities asked to quell human rights abuse

Sent: Monday, June 14, 2010 4:14 PM
Subject: Press release Christian Aid on the violent Emmanuel Lubala

DRC: Authorities asked to quell human rights abuse

1. Posted on Monday 14 June 2010 - 14:48
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the international community have been asked to bring to an end violent attack on human rights activist in that country.

Following a violent attack on Emmanuel Lubala Mugisho, President of leading Congolese human rights organisation Heritiers de la Justice, Christian Aid has appealed to the international community for increased protection for human rights activists and greater support to the Congolese authorities to bring perpetrators to justice and end the cycle of violence.

Lubala, who is also a provincial deputy in South Kivu and a reverend in the CEPAC protestant church, was robbed and threatened with death by three gunmen at his family home in Bukavu town, in DRC.

The death threat comes less than a week after another prominent Congolese human rights activist, Floribert Chebeya, was found dead in the backseat of his car in a suburb of Kinshasa .

Chebeya’s driver Fidèle Bazana, also a human rights activist, has been missing since then.

‘Christian Aid is deeply concerned by the ongoing attacks and threats against our partners and other Congolese human rights activists. The attack on Lubala immediately set off alarm bells, given the well-established trend of targeted assassination of journalists and human rights activists in the DRC’.

‘Such crimes constitute a threat to human rights and the entire state-building process in the DRC. Civil society plays a unique and essential role in upholding accountability and helping to establish the rule of law, documenting and denouncing violations, and increasing awareness of civic and human rights at all levels,’ says Shuna Keen, Christian Aid’s Great Lakes analyst.

Christian Aid has also called on the UK government, the EU and other international donors in the DRC to support an independent enquiry into the death of Chebeya, and to press for those responsible for the attacks against Lubala to be identified and held to account.

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