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Nelly Mbangu

HRD & Coordinator
Help and Action for Peace (AAP)

Nelly Mbangu is a human rights defender working on  women’s rights and children’s rights in North Kivu. She is the coordinator of Help and Action for Peace - Aide et Action pour la Paix (AAP), and  is a leader amongst women human rights defenders in her community in North Kivu. In addition to their work for women’s and children’s rights, Help and Action for Peace work on good governance, conflict resolution of land rights disputes, and environmental and natural resources protection in the region. As issues of land rights and environmental protection often disproportionately impact women, Help and Action for Peace links these diverse issues together to positively impact the human rights situation in North Kivu.

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.