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Philippe Busimba

Civil Bridge

Philippe Busimba is a human rights defender who has worked in civil society organisations in Goma, DRC since 2009. He currently works at Civil Bridge, an umbrella organisation that coordinates 77 local organisations in a coalition. Civil Bridge works for peace and development in North Kivu. Most recently Philippe Busimba was documenting cases of human rights violations in Rutshuru, including instances of exploitation and harassment of the local population by the FARDC. Furthermore, he had uncovered instances of collaboration in acts of harassment, intimidation, and exploitation of the local population around the Virunga National Park by some members of the FARDC and members of the Democratic Forces for the liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan rebel group based in the east of the DRC.

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.