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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid