MONUSCO and the United Nations joint human rights office strongly condemn the summary execution of a human rights defender
Kinshasa 21 March - On 17 March 2016, a human rights defender, coordinator of the NGO Organisation populaire pour la paix (OPP), was reportedly killed by armed men in Kavumu, Kabaré territory, South Kivu province. He was at home with his wife and children when the alleged perpetrators irrupted in the house and shot three times at the victim’s chest. The victim was a well-known human rights defender, working on allegations of abductions and rapes of children in Kavumu and on the inaction of the authorities to address these issues.
"MONUSCO strongly condemns the death of this well-known human rights defender and welcomes the opening of an investigation by the military prosecutor’s office as it is critical that justice be rendered” declared Maman S. Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary General in the DRC..
“This extrajudicial killing shows again the difficulties that human rights defenders have to face while doing their activities. This is why it is so important and urgent that a national framework on the protection of human rights defenders is adopted”, stated for his part, Jose Maria Aranaz, Director of the United Nations joint human rights office (UNJHRO) and Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the DRC, while reiterating full support of his office to the on-going investigations.
Notes to editors:
On 20 February 2016, the Governor of South Kivu promulgated an Edit on the protection of journalists and human rights defenders which provides individuals at risk for the nature of the work they conduct in the human rights domain with some kind of judicial protection. Although this measure is a positive development, its application is limited to the province of South Kivu and therefore does not replace the passing of a national law on the matter, yet to be submitted to Parliament.