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At Least 739 Civilians Killed in Ituri, North Kivu Provinces Since May

(Kinshasa) – Attacks on civilians by armed groups have continued in two conflict-ridden provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the government imposed martial law in May 2021, Human Rights Watch said. Various armed groups, some…
Congolese army soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers patrol the area of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kilometers from Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, July 23, 2021.
News

Allow Expert Access to Kazakhstan; Lift Ban

(Berlin) – Kazakh authorities have banned a Russian-American researcher from the country for five years in apparent efforts to stymy his work documenting abuses of ethnic minorities in neighboring China, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Gene Bunin
News

Appointment Risks Undermining Disarmament and Recovery

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi recently announced the launch of a long-awaited Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization program, meant to encourage thousands of fighters from more than 100 armed…
Militiamen of the armed group URDPC/CODECO in the village of Wadda, Ituri Province, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on September 19, 2020.
News

Exiled Activist Jean-Jacques Lumumba Targeted in Europe and Kinshasa

Last week, Jean-Jacques Lumumba, former banker and well-known whistleblower from the Democratic Republic of Congo, believed that he was being followed while en route to Brussels’ main train station. Yet, he stuck to his plans and took a train to…
Congolese whistleblower Jean-Jacques Lumumba near Paris, France, October 2019.
News

Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News

Rising Opposition to Discriminatory Nationality Bill

On July 18, Jacky Ndala, youth leader for the political party Together for the Republic (Ensemble pour la République), noticed unusual activity outside his house in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a message widely…
Jacky Ndala.
News

Three Months On, Elisée Lwatumba, Eric Muhindo Unjustly Detained

(Goma) – Congolese authorities should immediately and unconditionally release two activists who were arbitrarily arrested on April 19, 2021, after peacefully demonstrating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said. Elisée…
Youth activists Eric Muhindo, left, and Elisée Lwatumba, center, at Butembo’s central prison, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
News

Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Was Champion of Democracy and Human Rights

Tributes have been pouring in from all corners of the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond for Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, a fearless human rights defender who died July 11 at age 81. A few days earlier, he had been flown from Congo to Versailles,…
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo from the Democratic Republic of Congo arrives at the Synod hall in the Vatican on February 13, 2015.
News

Over 130 Targeted for Alleged Membership in Groups Deemed ‘Extremist’

(Berlin) – Authorities in Kazakhstan have targeted at least 135 people across the country with criminal investigations and prosecutions for alleged participation in banned “extremist” political opposition groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Over…
Koshe Party activists handing out information leaflets in Nursultan, Kazakhstan’s capital, before the unregistered group was banned by court order. February 18, 2020.
News

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding Children’s Rights and Alternative Care June 30, 2021 Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Rights of the Child ahead of its upcoming Day…
News

Government Urged to Fully Implement Reforms

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has slammed Kazakhstan – again – for harassing union leaders. At the ILO’s annual conference, earlier this June, Kazakhstan drew the ire of the Committee on the Application of Standards, which reviews…
A worker prepares pipes to service an oil well on oil fields operated by a subsidiary of the KazMunayGas Exploration Production JSC in Kyzylorda region, southern Kazakhstan on January 21, 2016.
News

Feminist Activists Attacked and Threatened

On May 29, Zhanar Sekerbaeva and Gulzada Serzhan, co-leaders of the feminist group Feminita, were holding a private event to discuss gender equality in Shymkent, a city in southern Kazakhstan, when unidentified men tried to break up the gathering by…
Feminita Kazakstan Activist Arrested
News

Instagrammer Faces Criminal Prosecution for Satirical News

Temirlan Ensebek, a 25-year-old from Almaty, Kazakhstan, is under criminal investigation on charges of “disseminating knowingly false information” in connection with the satirical Instagram account Qaznews24, which he ran for a few weeks in April. If…
Temirlan Ensebek Kazakhstan Free Speech Detained
News

Military Empowered to Curtail Protests and Other Rights in Embattled Provinces

Martial law went into force yesterday in two conflict-ridden provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo to “swiftly end the insecurity which is killing our fellow citizens on a daily basis,” a government spokesman said. This means the military has…
Congolese soldiers stand in a field camp in Paida, near Beni, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 7, 2018.
News

New Lukonde Government Should Set Transitional Justice Roadmap

(Kinshasa) – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s newly appointed government should adopt a clear strategy for holding those suspected of criminal responsibility for grave human rights violations accountable, a coalition of over 50 Congolese and…
Women demonstrate for peace in Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, April 23, 2021.
News

Joint Letter to the US Secretary of State

Dear Secretary Blinken, We are deeply concerned about the growing crisis in the Great Lakes region of Africa. The longstanding conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has worsened over the past year. Over five million people are now…
Congolese soldiers stand in a field camp in Paida, near Beni, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 7, 2018.
News

Trial Progress Slow Four Years after Killing of Michael Sharp, Zaida Catalán

(Kinshasa) – Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo should meaningfully investigate government responsibility for the 2017 murders of United Nations investigators Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán. The administration of President Felix…
Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp.
News

Activists Demand Equality, Better Protection

By Vika Kim International Women’s Day 2021, on Monday, was the first time authorities in Almaty, Kazakhstan allowed a march celebrating the day to proceed. I joined the five-kilometer march along one of the city’s main roads, with hundreds of…
International Women’s Day march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 8, 2021. 
News

Investigate Corruption Allegations

(Kinshasa) – Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo should quash the death sentences imposed in absentia on two whistleblowers who provided information on corruption. Congolese authorities should instead investigate the allegations of…
Gradi Koko, right, and Navy Malela, former staff of the audit department at Afriland First Bank CD, on February 17, 2021 in Paris, France.
News

Ben Kamuntu’s Latest Slam and Video Clip Is a Moving Call for Justice

Ben Kamuntu is a slameur (slam poet) with Goma Slam Session, a blossoming collective of spoken word artists in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. He’s also an activist with the pro-democracy movement Lucha. Kamuntu has just released a powerful video…
Picture captured during the making of the video clip for Bosembo.