DRC: Police on trial for activist’s murder

Eight police officers have gone on trial in a Kinshasa military court charged with the kidnap and murder of a human rights activist. Three of the accused are on the run and are being tried in absentia. Floribert Chebeya went missing in June after trying to meet chief of police General John Numbi. His body was found soon after in the back seat of his car. Chebeya was the head of Voice of the Voiceless (VSV). VSV says that General Numbi is the chief suspect but, although he has been suspended, he is not facing any charges.

DRC: Police arrested over death of human rights activist

Two policemen have been arrested, and the country’s most senior policeman suspended from duty, after the death of a human rights activist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Voice of the Voiceless” campaigner Floribert Chebeya, whose body was discovered last week in a Kinshasa suburb, was last heard from shortly before attending a meeting ordered by the inspector general of the national police force, John Numbi. Following the arrest of two policemen suspected of killing Chebeya, Numbi was suspended on Sunday by the attorney general, to allow an internal investigation to take place. Chebeya’s death has prompted widespread international attention. Criticisms have also been raised over increased police harassment of human rights activists. Four DRC-based human rights campaigners have been murdered in the last four years.

Congo: Human rights chief discovered dead

Floribert Chebeya, 47, the president of the human rights organisation La Voix des Sans-voix (Voice of the Voiceless) has been found dead in his car in Kinshasa. Despite a series of text messages and phone messages sent by the victim on the evening of his disappearance, local police remain undecided as to the cause of the incident on 1 June. Police have gone on record stating that they are searching for the perpetrator of the crime. The prominent activist was previously arrested in March 2009 with two other individuals and held for a period without charge by police. Some local reports suggest that this was a direct result of his organisation’s high-profile media campaigns.