UN warns DRC election threatened by human rights violations
The United Nations says the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) upcoming presidential election could be threatened by ongoing human rights violations in the country.
the UN Human Rights Council held a special session in Geneva on the situation in the DRC where it expressed concerns that the credibility of December’s election could be undermined by the continued violation of people’s freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
UN: Rights violations threaten election
With only three months left until the DRC takes to the polls for a crucial election, the UN says it has recorded a 35 per cent increase in human rights violations since June 2017. As the country gears up to vote on who will take the DRC into the next chapter of its democratic story, opposition groups and supporters are being targeted by police and security officials, the UN says.
The DRC is yet to have a peaceful transition of power and public support for the country’s ruling party is up for question. However, rival political parties and their supporters are being targeted ahead of December’s election and prevented from holding peaceful meetings.
According to the UN’s Georgette Gagnon, opposition leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and activists are also being threatened and intimidated by security forces who operate with impunity.
Gagnon warns the human rights situation in the DRC is likely to worsen as the election draws closer and she’s calling on the government to put a stop to such violations.
Featured image: By MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32468846