국제앰네스티는 콩고당국에 지난달 무장한 남성들에게 공격 당한 인권활동가를 보호할 것을 요청했다.
클레멘스 바카투세카(Clemence Bakauseka)는 콩고민주 공화국의 성폭력 피해자들을 돕기 위해 일해왔으며 경찰이 “보호비용”을 지불할 것을 요구한 이후부터 추가 공격에 대한 공포 속에 살고 있다고 국제앰네스티에 전했다.
10월 4일, 아이들과 집에서 있던 그녀는 군복을 입은 6명의 습격을 받았으며 그들은 총을 발사하고 돈을 요구했다. 지역 인권단체인 대호수 인권단(the Great Lakes Human Rights Programme; GLHRP)의 책임자인 그녀는 이와 관련해 그들은 단체가 들을 탈취하려 했다고 전했다.
바카투세카는 지역 인권단체인 대호수 인권단(the Great Lakes Human Rights Programme; GLHRP)의 책임자로 활동 중이었으며, 무장한 남성들은 이 단체가 성폭력 피해자들을 돕기 위해 마련한 기금을 탈취하려 했다고 전했다.
국제앰네스티 아프리카국의 클레어 모클레트(Claire Morclette)는 “공격을 받은 사람에게 경찰이 돈을 지불하지 않으면 보호하지 않겠다고 협박하는 것은 절대로 있을 수 없는일”이라며 “경찰은 그녀가 공격당했다는 사실을 알게 된 순간부터 그녀를 보호하기 위한 조치를 취해야 할 의무가 있다”고 전했다.
CONGOLESE ACTIVIST LIVES IN FEAR AFTER ATTACK
5 November 2010Amnesty International has urged the Congolese authorities to protect a human rights activist after she was attacked by armed men at her home last month.
Clemence Bakatuseka, who works on behalf of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), told Amnesty International that she lives in fear of further attacks after police demanded a “protection fee” to help her.
“It is unacceptable for the police to tell somebody who has been attacked and threatened they will do nothing to protect her unless they receive a payment,” said Claire Morclette of Amnesty International’s Africa programme.
“From the moment the police were informed of the attack against Clemence Bakatuseka, they had an obligation to take steps to protect her right to life and right to security of person.
“The government must immediately conduct an impartial investigation into the attack and bring those responsible to justice.”
On the evening of 4 October, Clemence Bakatuseka was at home with her children in the North Kivu town of Beni when six men in military uniforms forced their way in. They fired shots and demanded that she hand over money. After neighbours raised the alarm, the gunmen fled after firing one more shot.
Clemence Bakatuseka, coordinator of the Great Lakes Human Rights Programme (GLHRP) in Beni, said the men wanted money which is used to support the work of the organization on judicial assistance to victims of sexual violence.
The attack is the first time that she has been threatened with guns although her house was searched by unidentified individuals in July 2009.
Clemence Bakatuseka told Amnesty International: “I am still feeling traumatized. I am very disappointed at the manner in which the authorities have handled my case, particularly the police, who are supposed to be on the side of the people. I have called for help, but the police asked me to pay a monthly fee of US$250 to receive protection, which I cannot afford.”
Human rights activists in the DRC regularly face harassment, death threats and violence.
A number of murders have taken place in Beni in the last few months, including that of journalist Patient Chebeya, killed by soldiers in April 2010 and human rights activist Salvatore Muhindo, from the non-governmental organization Bon Samaritains in June.
That same month, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire, one of the country’s most prominent human rights activists, was found dead the day after he was summoned to attend a meeting with Kinshasa police.
“The Congolese government must act to protect all of the country’s human rights defenders who are at grave risk solely for carrying out their legitimate work,” said Claire Morclette.
“The authorities must also address the impunity related to attacks against human rights defenders.”
Clemence Bakatuseka and the GLHRP have successfully campaigned to have civilians and members of the armed forces convicted for committing acts of sexual violence.