Democratic Republic of Congo: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 30th April 2009.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the safety and whereabouts of Dolly Inefo Mbunga, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire and Donat Tshikaya following their arrests in Kinshasa; and what recent representations he has made to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the disappearance of human rights workers.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Dolly Inefo Mbunga, Floribert Chibeya Bahizire and Donat Tshikaya were released on 17 March 2009, and are now at liberty.

The EU presidency, the European Commission and the EU's Special Representative to the Great Lakes region raised the issue in meetings with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ministers shortly after the men's arrest. UN officials also made representations to the DRC authorities about this incident.

Officials from EU member states, who co-operate closely on human rights questions in DRC, have discussed the arrest with Mr. Chibeya and agreed to follow this issue.

The UK, through its aid programme, is also funding projects to help civil society organisations play an effective role and to encourage accountability in the security services.

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