Civil Society Leader Prevented from Leaving the Republic of the Congo

May 16, 2019

The World Movement is concerned to learn that the Executive Director of the Congolese Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH), Trésor Chardon Nzila, was prevented from leaving the Republic of the Congo—also known as Congo-Brazzaville—on May 11, 2019. Nzila was scheduled to attend a conference on good governance and justice in Nairobi, Kenya. Authorities cited concerns that Nzila intended to leave the country permanently without paying social security contributions as the reason for his travel ban.

Two days prior to the incident, the OCDH released a report on human rights abuses in the Republic of the Congo, which received immediate criticism from government officials. The OCDH condemns this incident as a “false pretext to obstruct the action of human rights NGOs.” The World Movement is also concerned that the restriction on Nzila’s freedom of movement is in retaliation for his work as a human rights activist and the contents of his organization’s recent report. We stand in solidarity with Nzila and other human rights defenders in the Republic of the Congo. Read OCDH’s 2019 report here.