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JED deplores murder of prominent human rights defender

(JED/IFEX) - In a 1 June 2010 letter to the organisation "La Voix des Sans Voix", JED expressed its condolences following the murder of human rights defender Floribert Chebeya Bahizire.

Mr. Dolly Ibefo
Deputy Executive Director
La Voix des Sans Voix (VSV)
Kinshasa-Ngaliema
Kinshasa, 1 June 2010

Dear director and colleagues,

It is with great dismay that Journaliste en danger (JED), an independent organisation for the defence and promotion of press freedom, has learned of the murder, on 1 June 2010, of Floribert Chebeya Bahizire, president and executive director of the organisation "Voix des Sans Voix pour les Droits de l'Homme" (Voice of the Voiceless for Human Rights).

According to information received by JED, Chebeya met, on the same day, with the inspector general of police, General John Numbi. Chebeya's lifeless body was found, the following day, in the back seat of his car, which was abandoned on a road in the south-western periphery of the capital. Forty-eight hours later, his driver was still reported missing.

JED joins its voice to that of all human rights organisations and demands that light be shed on this murder. JED honours the memory of one of the most prominent human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In JED's opinion, there is no doubt that Chebeya paid with his life for his commitment to the defence of the rights of the "voiceless" in DR Congo.

In these sad times, JED has a particular thought for Chebeya's wife and children to whom we express our deepest condolences.

Tshivis Tshivuadi
Secretary General, JED

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