Update on the fate of Congolese human rights defender Golden Misabiko
On August 31st, KAIROS issued an urgent appeal for the release of Golden Misabiko, the 53-year-old President of the Katangan branch of the Association africaine de defense des droits de l’homme, ASADHO-Katanga, a respected Congolese human rights organization. Click here to view the appeal. We wish to thank everyone who has written so far. Please keep writing.
Misabiko was arrested on July 24th and charged with “threatening state security” because his organization had published a report alleging state complicity in illegal mining at a uranium mine in Katanga province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ASAHDO’s report also called for clarification of the terms of the agreement signed in March 2009 between the Congolese government and France’s state-controlled nuclear energy group Areva to prospect and mine uranium in Katanga, including at the contoversial Shinkolobwe mine.
On September 23rd, a Lubumbashi court sentenced Mr Misabiko in absentia to four months in detention with a further eight-month suspended prison term. According to reliable sources who attended the trial, the proceedings did not conform to international standards for a fair trial.
The DRC is one of the 21 resource-rich African countries implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global initiative for increasing transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The participation of independent civil society is a fundamental component of the multi-stakeholder nature of the EITI and Congolese civil society organisations are playing an active role to ensure that their country becomes fully compliant with the initiative.
KAIROS remains concerned about the tranparency of several agreements signed between companies lining up to exploit the DRC’s minerals and the Congolese government and we have been calling for more transparency in Congo’s mining sector, including renegotiating and/or cancelling mining contracts that do not meet the needs of local populations.
To learn more about mining and human rights issues in the DRC, visit KAIROS’ Trading Cards and Human Rights Project (http://www.kairoscanada.org/en/rights-and-trade/trading-rights/) and follow the links on the interactive map.
For more information, please contact John Lewis Program Coordinator – International Human Rights at email@example.com or by calling 1-877-403-8933 ext. 224