Grave Concerns for the Safety of Dismas Kitenge, Congolese Human Rights Defender

Country: Congo
October 19, 2020

The World Movement joins Voix des Sans Voix (VSV) in expressing our grave concerns for the safety of prominent Congolese human rights defender Dismas Kitenge after learning that he and his family have been the subjects of threats and other harassment in a series of anonymous phone calls.

The threats to Mr. Kitenge began the day after he attended a working session between Tshopo civil society organizations and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Minister of Human Rights. During this event, Mr. Kitenge reported on the human rights situation of Tshopo, including criticism of some government figures. On September 19, 2020, Mr. Kitenge filed a complaint to the local authorities alerting them to the continued threats; however, the Congolese government has yet to investigate this situation. We stand with Mr. Dismas and are hopeful that the Congolese government will promptly offer him protection.

Dismas Kitenge is the president of Groupe Lotus, a human rights NGO that is based in Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and simultaneously serves as the Honorary Secretary-General of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH). Mr. Kitenge is also a member of the World Movement for Democracy’s Steering Committee.

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