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Government Should Curb Chilling Environment for Civil Society

A hearing held last week between the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, and human rights defenders in Greece revealed the scale of the hostile environment civil society groups face working on migration in the…
A dinghy with migrants, left, with Turkish ships in the background, in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast on April 2, 2021.
News

Criminal Charges Brought Against Group Alleging Corruption

Today marks three months since Congolese authorities detained Parfait Muhani, a 31-year-old pro-democracy activist, in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following a complaint brought by a foundation established by the wife of Congo’s…
Parfait Muhani (left),  Ghislain Muhiwa
News

Full Investigation Needed into Ignored Riot Warnings, Sexual Violence

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several…
Kasapa Prison
Video
Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several dozen female detainees,…
News

Lack of Protections Puts Women, Children at Risk

(Athens) – A law scheduled to take effect on September 16, 2021, that amends child custody provisions in Greece’s civil code places women and children survivors of domestic violence at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The Greek government should…
Protesters in Athens, Greece on March 27, 2021 stand outside the Greek Parliament displaying a banner that reads “your sexism is harming both mother and child” against a new law that introduces presumptive co-custody of children, even in cases of domestic violence.
News

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

Action Needed to End Lost Learning for Refugee, Asylum-Seeking Children

The first day of school in Greece, September 13, signals the return to in-person schooling for children after a year of Covid-19 related disruptions and learning loss. Today will be especially important for refugee and asylum-seeking children, most of…
Children play in a playground in the Ritsona refugee camp, north of Athens, Greece on October 22, 2019.
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

Ensure All Asylum-Seeking Children Are Enrolled in Coming School Year

(Athens) – The Greek government should urgently reform discriminatory policies so that children seeking asylum can go to school when the new year begins on September 13, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Only 1 in 7 children living in camps was…
A refugee girl living in a camp near Athens.
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

Criminal Investigations Risk Chilling Civil Society

Greek authorities are using criminal investigations to harass and intimidate groups that investigate abuses against migrants at Greece’s border. At a July 19 press conference, Greek police on the island of Lesbos announced a criminal case against…
A dinghy with migrants, left, with Turkish ships in the background, in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast on April 2, 2021.
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

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

Reject Proposed Legal Changes; Improve Protections for Abuse Victims

(Athens) – A bill to amend child custody provisions in Greece’s civil code disregards risks for domestic violence victims that would put women and children in jeopardy, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, "Reforms regarding parent-child…
Protest outside the Greek Parliament in Athens on March 27, 2021 against a bill that would introduce compulsory equal joint custody of children in cases of separation or divorce. 
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

People Still Accommodated in Camp’s Contaminated Area

Dozens of families are still accommodated in areas of a migrant camp in Lesbos where soil testing showed elevated lead levels two months after the Greek government confirmed that the areas were contaminated, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Authorities removing soil
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.