On 31 July 2005 Pascal Kabungulu Kibembi, a foremost human rights activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was assassinated in his home in Bukavu, eastern Congo. Kabungulu was the Secretary General of Héritiers de la Justice (Heirs of Justice), a leading human rights organisation with a long history of documenting human rights abuses in the Great Lakes region. Recourse to domestic legal structures to bring those accused of killing him to justice have been exhausted and the case has now been filed with the African Court of Human and People’s Rights. Me Paulette Oyane Ondo, a lawyer and legal advisor working for the Central African Human Rights Defenders Network (REDHAC), has been threatened by Gabon security agents both in connection with the Kabungulu case and her other work on human rights defenders issues.
CIVICUS has supported Me Oyane Ondo’s travel costs to participate at the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights, where she highlighted the case of Kablungulu, testified to the threats that she has faced personally and conducted advocacy in favour of Central African Human Rights Defenders.
The situation of human rights in general is in crisis in Central Africa, with REDHAC tracking numerous threats to human rights defenders in 2011. REDHAC joins activists around the globe fighting to defend citizens’ rights and freedoms: a recent CIVICUS report indicates that civil society operates in restrictive environments in over 90 countries around the world.
Without your help we cannot provide advocacy support to human rights defenders like Me Oyane Ondo through the CIVICUS Crisis Response Fund. Your contribution can make a vital difference to those fighting to protect, realise and advance democratic and human rights for all.
We ask that you stand shoulder to shoulder with your civil society colleagues under threat and make a donation today - support the CIVICUS Crisis Response Fund, support Human Rights Defenders, support civil society.