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Tumaini Muhoza Jean Paul

HRD, Chairperson
Ligue des Sacrifices Volontaires pour les Droits Humains et d’Environnement (LISVDHE)

Tumaini Muhoza Jean Paul is a human rights defender and the chair of the regional office of Ligue des Sacrifices Volontaires pour les Droits Humains et d’Environnement (LISVDHE) in Rutsiro, Ntamugenga. LISVDHE is a non-profit NGO that promotes and defends human rights, through providing legal assistance to victims of police abuse and through reporting on human rights violations in the region. Tumaini Muhoza Jean Paul’s work specifically focuses on reporting abuses by the military in the region.

Republic of Congo

In 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw the advent of a new government following long-awaited presidential elections. HRDs and other civil society actors were lauded for their advocacy as they worked tirelessly to call for a return to democratic institutions and good governance; their efforts played a significant role in the elections process. The advent of a new government is an opportunity to push forward the human rights agenda and ensure the protection of HRDs as the new president, Mr. Felix Tshisekedi, made commitments to respect human rights, to open up civic space ,and to protect HRDs who are at risk.

Despite these successes, HRDs in the Democratic Republic of Congo are at risk of killings, threats, intimidation and judicial harassment. The risks are especially acute for WHRDs and HRDs working on land and environmental rights who are often seen as a threat to economic interests. The protection of human rights guaranteed under the constitution still lacks implementation. In May 2017, a bill on the protection of human rights defenders was passed by the Senate and still awaiting to be enacted by the president. It contains some provisions that pose a real threat to the legitimate work of HRDs including a limited definition of the term HRD. Furthermore, Article 17 imposes unnecessary conditions for HRDs, such as the requirement to send an annual report of their activities to the Ministry of Human Rights.