Pax Christi International Joins Call to Free Lucha Human Rights Defenders

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Pax Christi International has joined 28 other regional and international organisations in calling for the release of 13 LUCHA human rights defenders in the DR Congo.

We express our dismay that the Beni Garrison Military Tribunal has not yet announced a verdict in the case of the 13 LUCHA human rights defenders (HRDs) from Beni, North Kivu. According to legal statutes, this verdict was due within 30 days of the final court hearing, by 8 February 2022. This undue delay is a violation of the 13 defenders´ right to a fair trial and due process.

We urge the Congolese authorities to drop the charges without conditions and release the human rights defenders, who have been deprived of their liberty for four months. They were arrested in November while organising a peaceful demonstration to denounce the repeated killings and massacres of civilians that
persist despite the proclamation of a state of siege in the Province of North Kivu and in the Province of

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