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Urgent Action to Free Human Rights Defender in the Democratic Republic of Congo       

In response to a request by members, ESCR-Net sent out an urgent action letter on August 7, 2009 to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other relevant agencies, including the US State Department during Secretary Clinton's visit to the DRC, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Golden Misabiko, president of the Katanga branch of the Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO/Katanga), a respected non-governmental organization in the DRC and ESCR-Net member.

We had reason to believe that the questioning, arrest, and arbitrary detention of Mr. Misabiko was directly related to his organization's legitimate activities advocating for transparency in the mining sector and defending human rights, especially the health and environmental rights of people in southeastern DRC. The letter also urged relevant government authorities to take all necessary measures to put an end to intimidation and ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all members of ASADHO/Katanga, and guarantee in all circumstances freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of the press, and ensure the full protection of national and non-national human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On August 19, 2009, Mr. Golden Misabiko was released on bail, but persecution against him and his organization continues. To view the letter, click here.

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