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Press Statement


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Statement by Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
October 18, 2000

Democratic Republic of the Congo Beating of Human Rights Workers

The United States is deeply concerned by reports of violence against human rights workers in the rebel-controlled and Rwandan-occupied area of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. On October 9, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch, soldiers of the rebel group Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) disrupted a meeting of human rights activists at the offices of the non-governmental organization Groupe Jeremie in the rebel-held town of Bukavu in the eastern Congo. The human rights activists were reportedly taken to a military camp and released later in the day, and Groupe Jeremie's offices looted.

Our embassy in Kigali has raised the reports with high-level officials of the Rwandan government who have promised to investigate them.

The United States echoes the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson's demand to the rebels last week to immediately cease its intimidation of non-governmental organizations and civil society in eastern Congo.

[end of document]

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