Congolese activist’s death shocks UN

2010-06-04 11:52

United Nations (UN) chief Ban Ki-moon expressed dismay yesterday

over the death of prominent Democratic Republic of Congo human rights advocate

Floribert Chebeya in Kinshasa and called for a “transparent and independent”

probe.

A UN statement said Ban “was deeply shocked to learn of the death

in Kinshasa of Floribert Chebeya, President of La Voix des Sans Voix (The Voice

of the Voiceless).”

The secretary general hailed Chebeya as a “champion of human

rights,” stressed the need for a “thorough, transparent and independent”

investigation of his death and said the world body was prepared to help if

requested.

A statement issued earlier in the day said the UN boss expressed

shock over the death of Chebeya’s driver as well. But the world body

subsequently retracted this after being informed by DRC national police that the

driver had yet to be found.

Earlier yesterday, the DRC government expressed regrets at the

death of Chebeya, who was found dead in his car early Wednesday, and promised a

probe.

In Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

earlier yesterday also voiced shock over the death and urged the Kinshasa

government to launch a probe.

Rights groups in DRC have jointly denounced what they called the

“ignoble murder” of Chebeya, saying in a statement that he was “found early

(Wednesday) morning on the back seat of his car, his hands bound behind his back

and his trousers and underpants pulled down round his knees.”

Chebeya had been due on Tuesday evening to meet the DRC’s national

police chief General John Numbi and phone contact with him was lost later that

evening.



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