DRC / ZEID PRESSER

21-Jul-2016 00:01:59
United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said advances on the political front in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) may be in danger as crucial electoral deadlines approached and reports of increasing harassment of civil society representatives and journalists emerged. MONUSCO
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STORY: DRC / ZEID PRESSER
TRT: 1:59
SOURCE: MONUSCO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 21 JULY 2016, KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SHOTLIST
21 JULY 2016, KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

1. Wide shot, Zeid sitting at press table
2. Med shot, journalists
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I am very concerned about reports of increasing harassment of civil society representatives and journalists, as well as the repression of voices which oppose the Government, and the excessive, and sometimes lethal, dispersal of demonstrations.”
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I condemn the loss of life during demonstrations in Butembo, Goma, Kinshasa and elsewhere, and I note with concern the arbitrary arrests, acts of intimidation and repression in the main cities.”
6. Wide shot, press table
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I have listened very carefully to comments made by senior security officials and I welcome their assurances to me that there is full respect of human rights law. But this must find expression in the streets, the marketplaces, and the gathering places of this country's daily life, and I will continue to follow this very closely.”
8. Wide shot, Zeid at press table
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I will submit a list of those detained persons we believe should be released immediately. I have been told that there will now be a rapid transfer of detainees from the holding cells – the cachots - of the ANR intelligence services to ordinary detention centres, where civilian magistrates will make determinations on the status of their cases.”
10. Pan right, Zeid leaving press room
STORYLINE
United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said advances on the political front in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) may be in danger as crucial electoral deadlines approached and reports of increasing harassment of civil society representatives and journalists emerged.

Speaking to the press today (21 Jul) in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, Zeid said his office had documented more than 800 victims of human rights violations in the past year. He condemned the loss of life during demonstrations in Butembo, Goma, Kinshasa and elsewhere in the country, and noted “with concern the arbitrary arrests, acts of intimidation and repression in the main cities.”

The High Commissioner said there must be an open and honest dialogue with respect for human rights at its centre to overcome the many challenges facing the DRC. He welcomed assurances made to him by senior officials “that there is full respect of human rights law”, but said “this must find expression in the streets, the marketplaces, and the gathering places of this country's daily life.”

Zeid said the overall incidence of sexual violence and crimes appeared to be decreasing in the country and commended President Joseph Kabila for his personal commitment to ensure that justice is served in cases involving security forces. He added that the government had shown commendable efforts in investigating and bringing to trial several of its peacekeepers accused of sexual exploitation and abuse while deployed in the Central African Republic, which he said was noteworthy given the reluctance of so many other peacekeeping countries to do likewise.

The High Commissioner said “no one should be above the law.” He said political parties “must not feed a climate of fear and should seek to ensure their supporters avoid incitement or engagement in violent activities.” Zeid said he was told that detainees would be rapidly transferred from the holding cells of the national intelligence agency “to ordinary detention centres, where civilian magistrates will make determinations on the status of their cases.” He said he would submit a list of detainees “we believe should be released immediately.” Zeid noted that he could “only be satisfied when these commitments materialise.”
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