It was as if someone extraordinarily famous had come to town. Thousands of people craned their necks as the motorcade roared by, cellphones out to grab a snap, an air of expectation and excitement eclipsing all the street noise of clanging Coke bottles and beeping motorcycles. “There he is!” someone yelled. “Le docteur!”
Today’s jubilant return by Dr. Denis Mukwege to the Democratic Republic of the Congo nearly 12 weeks after an assassination attempt at his home in Bukavu has given Congolese leaders and citizens the opportunity to show their support for this courageous and beloved advocate for victims of sexual violence.
Despite continued grave concerns for his safety, PHR supports Dr. Denis Mukwege in his return to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. As he resumes his work treating victims of sexual violence, PHR urges the relevant authorities to secure the safety of this internationally renowned surgeon and human rights champion.
The recent conviction of two Bahraini intelligence agents in the April 2011 beating death of a Shia businessman provides a welcome dose of justice in that troubled Gulf kingdom, PHR said today. But the seven-year sentences were very lenient, given the severity of the crime, and high-ranking officials who encouraged or condoned such behavior have still never been charged.
PHR calls on the Bahraini regime to set free immediately a human rights activist detained this month while monitoring the actions of Bahraini security forces during a peaceful public demonstration in Manama.