Human Rights Watch response to expulsion of Jason Stearns from DR Congo

By Human Rights Watch (HRW)

“Human Rights Watch strongly condemns the expulsion of Jason Stearns from the Democratic Republic of Congo on April 7. This comes in the context of a broader crackdown against critical voices of the government. Stearns is a widely respected and well-known researcher, scholar, and expert who has worked on the country for the past 15 years. Government officials said he was expelled for his 'undesirability', and also raised concerns about a report his organization, the Congo Research Group, recently published about massacres in the Beni region of eastern Congo.

In the lead-up to presidential elections, originally scheduled for November 2016, government authorities and security force officers have sought to silence those who oppose attempts to extend President Joseph Kabila's stay in power beyond the end of his constitutionally-mandated two-term limit — firing on peaceful demonstrators and arresting and intimidating activists and political opposition supporters.”