Human rights defenders

26 April 2016

Arlette, Hervé et Me Hervé Mafwila

Voices from Kinshasa (3/3): “Freedom is under the hammer”

In DR Congo, defending the rights of victims of injustice and exercising fundamental rights remains a challenge. Faced with an often failing legal system and, at times, intimidation, men and women are pursuing an ideal: to live in a fairer world. Last of three encounters: lawyer Hervé Mafwila, on illegal detention.

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7 March 2016

Voices from Kinshasa (2/3): “My goal: to live in a country without injustice”

Defending the rights of victims of injustice and exercising one’s fundamental freedoms remains a challenge in DR Congo. Faced with an often failing legal system and, at times, intimidation, men and women still pursue an ideal: to live in a fairer world. Second of three interviews: journalist Nathalie Kapela, specialised in covering justice matters.

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8 February 2016

Voices from Kinshasa (1/3): “A snake will bite when cornered”

In DR Congo, defending the rights of victims of injustice and exercising one’s fundamental freedoms remains a challenge. Faced with an often failing legal system and, at times, intimidation, men and women still pursue an ideal: to live in a fairer world. First of three interviews: Alphonse Koyakosi, lawyer specialised in international crimes.

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18 September 2015

Disappointing appeal verdict in the Chebeya case

The Military High Court yesterday delivered its final verdict in the Chebeya case. This appeal verdict acquits 4 of the 5 defendants and significantly reduces the jail sentence imposed in the first instance on police chief Mukalay . ASF, which is supporting the activist’s brothers and sisters in their civil claims, regrets that the Congolese courts did not take the opportunity offered by this appeal trial to put right failings in previous proceedings. This could have enabled certain abuses observed since this case began in 2010 to be remedied.

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5 September 2015

ASF concerned about attacks on the right of defence in Burundi

In the current context of intense repression of political protest In Burundi, the rights of those arrested are being threatened by the practices of certain authorities. The illegal detention of a lawyer by police forces on 2 September highlights the intimidation practised with regard to these protectors of rights. ASF and the Bar Association of Bujumbura are calling on politicians and members of the judiciary to respect the constitutional principles of the country.

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12 June 2015

ASF instrumental in launching a fund for the protection of Human Rights Defenders in East Africa

The African Great Lakes Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund is finally official! This innovative financial mechanism, the first of its kind in the region, was championed by ASF, the East Africa Law Society and regional partners. It has been designed to protect the rights and freedoms of Human Rights Defenders in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

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29 April 2015

“The man who mends women”

On Thursday April 30th, a ‘Justice and impunity’ evening will take place in Brussels. The public will have the opportunity to watch the film ‘L’homme qui répare les femmes’ (‘the man who mends women’). This documentary by filmmaker Thierry Michel recounts the incessant fight of Doctor Mukwege against sexual violence which affects thousands of women in the East of DR Congo. Jean-Philippe Kot, ASF expert in international justice tells us more about theses serious violations of human rights.

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18 November 2014

Emergency in DR Congo: protect human rights defenders

Kinshasa, DR Congo – Supported by ASF, the Congolese civil society is reiterating the urgent need to continue efforts, in collaboration with national authorities, to strengthen the legislative frameworks for the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs). Created one year ago, the follow-up Committee of national strategies for the protection of HRDs recently presented its action plan on this issue.

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9 September 2014

The Manirumva case must move forward

Bujumbura (Burundi) – ASF calls on the Burundian justice system to put an end to the many irregularities which have been blocking progress for over a year in the Ernest Manirumva murder case. This call follows the fifth postponement on 4 September of the Burundi Supreme Court hearing to review this landmark case. While this trial continues to be bogged down before the highest court in the country, the family of Ernest Manirumva, a great defender of human rights, and the NGO where he worked, the Anti-corruption and Economic Malpractice Observatory (OLUCOME), are persevering in their pursuit of justice.

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3 July 2014

Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa’s trial must be fair

Bujumbura – On the day before Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa’s trial, ASF is calling on the courts of Burundi to operate in strict compliance with laws and with full respect for its independence. President of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Incarcerated Persons (Association pour la protection des droits humains et des personnes détenues, APRODH) in Burundi, Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa faces serious charges stemming from actions carried out as part of his work. ASF supports the lawyers defending this prominent defender of human rights. He is accused of endangering the internal and external security of the State, as well as forgery and using forged documents

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