L’Association africaine de defense de droits de l’homme (ASADHO) has accused rebel authorities of launching a “vast campaign of repression and arrest” targeting human rights workers. In a statement received today by IRIN, ASADHO said armed soldiers in Bukavu arrested a local human rights activist on 30 November and security officials have been “intimidating” several members of a coalition of local civil society groups. The coalition last week released a report detailing alleged human rights abuses in rebel-held areas.
Meanwhile, UNHCR said it had received “credible reports” that five Congolese asylum seekers forced back to the DRC by Burundian authorities last month have been released from detention by authorities in Bukavu. The five, who had entered Burundi as escorts of former South Kivu Governor Charles Magabe, were arrested after their forced repatriation to the DRC.