Press Release on the Abduction of MédiatriceRizikiandAngéliqueNavura, Human Rights Defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Commissioner ReineAlapini-Gansou, is deeply concerned about the situation of women human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She notes that Ms MédiatriceRizikiand MsAngéliqueNavura of the organisation Ensemble pour la Paixetl'Encadrement des Femmes en Milieu Rural (EPEFMR)were abducted between 13 and 17 July 2014 in Kiliba, Uvira, in South Kivu.
The women were abducted by a group of people in the afternoon of 13 July 2014. The abductors reportedly threatened to kill these women human rights defenders if their organisation continued to promote and protect human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Special Rapporteur is delighted by the successful outcome of this serious incident. She however condemns the violence and abuse suffered by Ms MédiatriceRizikiand MsAngéliqueNavura during their time in captivity. She expresses her sincere gratitude to all those who contributed towards their release.
The Special Rapporteur calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to step up efforts towards protecting women human rights defenders in conflict areas and ensure that they work under good conditions without fear for their physical and moral integrity and reprisals.
The Special Rapporteur further calls on the Congolese authorities to comply with the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the resolutions of the African Commission, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Kigali Declaration and the Gra nd Bay Declaration.
Banjul, 11 August2014
SpecialRapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa