Tag - DR Congo ( 3 )

News | DRC: UN experts urge Government to lift “abusive” restrictions on protesters to head off violence

Dec 19 2016

GENEVA – United Nations experts, including Maina Kiai, are calling on the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to lift political restrictions which they say are curbing people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. These restrictions, which include a de facto ban on all public political rallies and meetings in the country’s main cities, were introduced over the past year and were reiterated with an announcement issued on 1 December banning organizations not registered. “These measures have most recently affected the citizens’ movements LUCHA and Filimbi, both young citizen movements aiming at promoting political participation, which recently launched a public awareness campaign calling for respect for the Constitution,” said the UN experts. “These measures are in violation of international human rights conventions to which the government in Kinshasa is a signatory, and breaches the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,” they stressed. The DRC has recently known a wave of protests from demonstrators concerned that President Joseph Kabila will refuse to step down from office today - 19 December - when his second and final term under the current constitutional arrangements is due to end. Elections to replace him have been... Continue reading →

News | ‘Fragile’ DRC at risk as government clamps down on critics, UN expert warns

Dec 01 2016

GENEVA – The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is silencing critics in clear violation of international human rights law, a United Nations expert has warned. The action, which includes jamming radio broadcasts and arresting journalists, is targeting the independent media at a time of high political tension, says the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye. “These actions are not only in clear violation of the DRC’s obligations under international human rights law, but the silencing of critical voices through arrests, censorship and other forms of government control poses risks for the stability of the country which is already in a seriously fragile state,” the expert said. “Freedom of expression in the DRC has increasingly been threatened by the criminalization of critics and the opposition, including the use of harsh punishments. The government has a responsibility to uphold people’s rights to freedom of expression and a free media, as guaranteed in the 2005 constitution,” Mr. Kaye added. “It should also take the opportunity to promote and protect these rights to establish a foundation for growth and stability.” The independent expert highlighted examples including a decree issued by the Minister of Information and Media, Lambert Mende,... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 7 (Issue 24) – October-November 2016

Nov 14 2016

Issue No. 24 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • In final presentation to UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur reflects on time in mandate; warns that situation for civil society remains ‘precarious’ • Corporate power undermining workers’ assembly and association rights, Kiai warns • Litigation project: Developments in cases in Kazakhstan, Brazil and USA • UN experts urge India to release prominent Kashmiri human rights defender • Democratic Republic of Congo: experts urge end to ‘unjustified’ ban on protests • Ethiopia: call for international investigation into systematic violence against protesters • Maina Kiai’s Foreword to the Civic Charter: the Framework for People’s Participation • Experts blast Kenya for excessive force against anti-corruption protesters • Mauritania: UN experts concerned about situation of jailed rights activists • Egypt NGO law: Special Rapporteur Kiai warns about growing restrictions on civil society • Iran: UN expert Shaheed calls for the immediate release of dual nationals • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in... Continue reading →