News / Africa

Watchdog says Human Rights Abuse on the Rise in DRC

A new report published by the international-watchdog Amnesty International says human-rights abuses are escalating in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The group says it fears harassment will increase further before presidential and national elections set to take place in 2011.  

Amnesty International's report documents the experiences of eight human-rights defenders who it says have been arbitrarily detained, harassed, and subject to death threats.

Amnesty International Congo researcher Andrew Philip says the investigation has found human-rights abuses increased between 2009 and 2010, and he says he fears they may get worse.

"This, we are concerned, may be linked to the 2011 national and presidential elections, where the government seems intent on stifling any kind of independent criticism or monitoring of the human rights situation in the country," said Andrew Philip.

He says activists have increasingly been subject to death threats via text messages.  He says these are anonymous and cannot be attributed to the government, but he says other human-rights abuses appear to originate from the DRC central government in Kinshasa.

"Human-rights defenders have been summoned to meetings with the local intelligence service, where they have been told quite clearly that a message has been given by Kinshasa that they should be careful about their activities, that they should not disturb the public order," he said. "So in some instances it is clearly directed, we believe, from the central level."

But Congo Minister for Human Rights Upio Kakura Wapol says rights are respected in Congo.

He says Amnesty International's report is exaggerated and does not recognize that respect for human rights is making real progress.  

And he says it is important to remember that Congo is a country at war, and this is the real cause for human-rights violations.

Congo has yet to recover from a five-year conflict that ended with a peace deal in 2003.  According to the United Nations, various militia groups as well as government soldiers continue to attack civilians, including widespread rape and sexual violence.  

Amnesty International also says it receives regular reports of torture and ill-treatment taking place in the detention facilities of Congo's National Intelligence Agency.  

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid