DRC should investigate killing of Floribert Chebeya Bahizire in Kinshasa

On 4th June Heidi Hautala and Rebecca Harms, Co-president of the Green/Efa Group, sent a letter to the Ambassador of DRC calling for an effective investigation into the killing of a prominent human rights advocate, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire.[:]


H.E. Monsieur Henri Mova Sakany
Rue Marie de Bourgogne
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Brussels, June 4, 2010
Honorable Mr. Henri Mova Sakany,

We, the undersigned, are gravely alarmed over the news of the killing of prominent human rights defender, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire on 1st of June in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. According to Human Rights Watch Chebeya was killed after he had visited police headquarters located in Kinshasa on 1st of June 2010. The crime must be investigated urgently and those responsible must be brought to justice.

We also call the authorities to cooperate with the UN closely to ensure that the conduct of the investigation will be efficient and credible.

Furthermore, great concern remains over the condition of the driver of Chebeya, Fidèle Bazana Edadi, who, according to the latest information, is still missing.

In the struggle to protect and promote human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and indeed in all other countries around the world, the work of human rights advocates is indispensable. Their efforts should be encouraged and effectively supported by the authorities and at any circumstances should they not suffer from harassment, intimidation or violence.

In our capacity as the Chairwoman of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Co-President of the GREENS/EFA Group, we will keep monitoring the situation closely and hope to take the first opportunity to discuss the issue further with your delegation.

Heidi Hautala,
Chairwoman of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights

Rebecca Harms
Co-president of the Green/Efa Group