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John Luhiriri

HRD & Protection Officer
Synergy of Priority Aid – Emergency Aid

John Luhiriri is a human rights lawyer who served as the protection officer for Synergie d'aide prioritaire - Aide d'urgence – (SAP - AU) (Synergy of Priority Aid – Emergency Aid), a Congolese human rights organisation working on issues related to international humanitarian law, and gender-based violence in particular.

The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains volatile and human rights defenders (HRDs) remain at grave risk. They continue to operate at serious personal risk in an atmosphere of violence, hostility and instability. Absence of the rule of law and a climate of impunity prevail. As a consequence of carrying out activities such as investigating and exposing atrocities, combating sexual violence, advocacy with respect to the elections, and independent journalism, many HRDs have been subject to threats and attacks. Congolese human rights defenders are frequent targets of intimidation, judicial proceedings, stigmatisation, death threats, arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detentions, gender based violence, ill treatment in prison including refusal of access to lawyers and medical care, physical assault and in some cases torture or killing by DRC government agents or armed groups. Many HRDs are frequently forced into hiding as a result of the threats against their security and the safety of their families.