Posts Tagged ‘shooting’

DRC: Human Rights Defender shot and NGO office closed

May 30, 2014

The Democratic Republic of Congo remains a terrible place for human rights defenders. These two recent events reported by Front Line make it abundantly clear:

1. Attempted murder of human rights defender Mr Leonard Lusimba 

On 22 May 2014, human rights defender Mr Leonard Lusimba was shot in an attempted killing by a member of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo – FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo). He underwent surgery on 25 May, and a second operation will be necessary in the coming days. Leonard Lusimba is the regional representative of Collectif d’Actions pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme – CADDHOM, an organisation which, since the 1990s, has worked to promote human rights and peace education in different regions of the DRC, in particular in the Eastern provinces of the country where a number of armed groups are still active.

[Over recent years, numerous Congolese human rights defenders have been killed as a result of targeted attacks. In the rare cases where serious investigations have been undertaken, they have often failed to lead to results, favouring impunity.]

2. Closure of the office of human rights organisation Solidarity for Social Advancement and Peace 

On 21 May 2014, the Congolese human rights organisation Solidarité pour la Promotion Sociale et la Paix – SOPROP (Solidarity for Social Development and Peace) was closed by the Direction Générale des Impôts – DGI in relation to an investigation into allegations of tax fraud. The DGI declared that it needed time to reach a compromise with SOPROP, and proposed a settlement to SOPROP of 20% of the amount it allegedly owed in unpaid taxes. SOPROP rejected the proposal on the grounds that there was no basis for the amount originally demanded. The same day, SOPROP brought a complaint to the local Prosecutor’s Office, which identified irregularities in the procedure and ordered that the medical centre be reopened. The office, however, remains sealed, and it is unknown when it will be reopened

[SOPROP is an organisation which, since its foundation in 1994, has supported victims of torture and other violence through medical, social and legal assistance. The organisation is also known for its activities in human rights education, particularly in schools, as well as for its investigations into human rights violations and corruption. In 2011, SOPROP had published a report on the corrupt practices of state companies in Kinshasa, which highlighted agencies of the DGI, amongst others.]

For previous posts on DRC:

Murder of Somali human rights defender Mohamed Mohamud Tima’adde

October 27, 2013

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped reported that on 22 October 2013, unidentified gunmen shot Mohamed Mohamud Tima’adde six times on his way to work. Three people were subsequently arrested trying to access the Medina hospital ward where Mohamed Mohamud was being treated. Initially it was reported that he was responding well, but on 27 October AP reports that according to the Somali journalist Ahmed Nor Mohamed his colleague has died of his wounds on Saturday night.

Read the rest of this entry »

Refugee in Sweden shot by unknown assailant – Uzbek regime involvement suspected

February 29, 2012

Based on information received today from Mutabar Tadjibayeva, the MEA Laureate of 2008, I share with you the following:
On 22-February, at 13h40 p.m, a well-known religious figure, a former imam from Uzbekistan Obidhon Nazarov was shot in the town of Stromsund, Sweden, where he was settled as a refugee. An unknown person shot him in the head at the entrance of his house when he was going out. The assailant escaped. At the moment, the Swedish police are investigating the crime. The condition of imam Nazaarov remains very critical.
The international human rights organization “Club Des Coeurs Ardents” (“Club Flaming Hearts”) founded by Mutabar and the Centre for political studies “LIGLIS-CENTER” understandably express their suspicion that the Uzbek regime of Karimov has orchestrated the attack.
The message adds the following background: in the period 1990-1996 Obidhon Nazarov was an imam for the capital city mosque “Tuhtaboy”. In 1996 he was unlawfully dismissed from this post and his house near the mosque was taken by the authorities. In 1998, he was forced to flee to Kazakhstan where he was placed under the protection of UNHCR. On 24-May 2004 the eldest son of the imam, Husniddin Nazarov, was kidnapped. Shortly before, Husniddin Nazarov had been questioned by the militia of the city Tashkent. Until today nothing has been heard about or from him.
In the spring of 2006 imam Nazarov was resettled from Kazakhstan to Sweden by UNHCR. But even in Sweden he felt repeatedly forced to change his residence. During 2011, authorities of Uzbekistan requested his extradition but Sweden did not comply and informed the imam himself and uzbek civil society in Sweden about the request.
The authorities of Uzbekistan kept up a constant campaign to discredit the name of O. Nazarov. E.g. in the first half of 2010 a series of video films was shown called “Hunrezlik” (“Bloodshed”), in which the imam is accused of all kind of unlikely crimes. Many of his followers were arrested by the Uzbekistan authorities on trumped-up charges and given long periods of detention.
The imam is considered a protector of the religious freedom in Uzbekistan by his supporters. In 2009 he openly greeted the initiative of US President Obama for the improvement of the USA’s relations with the Muslim world and in 2011, in his sermons, he supported the revolutions in the Arab world as “natural and correct”. However, he condemned the violence, both by the state and by religiously motivated terrorists.
The two organisations end their message with a call for rigorous investigation by the Swedish police and – in view of the catastrophic human rights situation in Uzbekistan – a clear position by the international community.