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Democratic Republic of the Congo
03.12.02
Urgent Interventions

DRC: arrest related to the exploitation of natural ressources

Case COD 260901

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by "La Voix des Sans-Voix pour les droits de l'homme", a member of the OMCT network, of arbitrary arrests, torture and breaches of freedom of movement which have taken place in the region of South Kivu.

According to information received, soldiers of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) (Congolese Rally for Democracy), Goma branch, a rebel movement based in the border region between Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arrested the following persons between 9 and 13 September 2001.

On 9 September 2001 :

· Mr. Mbirizi, currently detained in Bukavu and, according to our sources of information, being subjected to torture;
· Mr. Shauri, who is said to have since been released;
· Mr. Hodari, who is also said to have been released.

On 13 September 2001 :

· Mr. Mihuhi, a doctor at the Uvira general hospital, detained in the premises of the Direction Générale des Migrations (DGM) (General Administration for Migration) in Uvira;
· Mr. Menge Selemani, head of the Umoja Catholic high school in Uvira, detained in the premises of Uvira territory;
· Mr. Kitali, head of the Kakamba Institute in Kalunda, also detained in the premises of Uvira territory;
· Mr. Masaraka, an agent of the environment department of Uvira territory, also detained in the premises of Uvira territory.

According to information received, Mr. Bah-Avira Mbiya Michel, president of the Civil Society of Ituri, is living in fear, having denounced incidents of human rights abuses and pillaging by the RCD. It appears that he addressed complaints to the Secretary General of the UN, to the UN Mission to the Congo (MONUC) and to the Facilitateur du dialogue inter-congolais (Moderator of Inter-Congolese Dialogue). The leaders of the rebel movement are trying to prevent him from going to Addis Ababa.

The International Secretariat is deeply concerned by these arbitrary arrests and the treatment to which those detained might be subjected.



Action requested

Please write to the RCD authorities urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to safeguard the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Mbirizi, Mihuhi, Menge Selemani, Kitali and Masaraka and to order their immediate release

ii. guarantee respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards;

Addresses

· Dr. Adolphe Onusumba, President of RCD-Goma.
E-mail : rcdcongo@hotmail.com

· Thomas Nziratimana, RCD-Goma representative in South Africa.
E-mail : thomas@congo.co.za


Geneva, September 26 2001

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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