Human Rights Watch, World Report 2010 - DR Congo - Events of 2009
Violence and brutal human rights abuses increased in the Democratic Republic of Congo throughout 2009. Two military campaigns by the Congolese army, in the east and north, resulted in a dramatic increase in violence against civilians by both rebel and government forces. At least 2,500 civilians were slaughtered, over 7,000 women and girls were raped, and more than 1 million people were forced to flee their homes.
U.S. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices DR Congo in 2009
In all areas of the country, the government's human rights record remained poor, and security forces continued to act with impunity throughout the year, committing many serious abuses, including unlawful killings, disappearances, torture, and rape. Security forces also engaged in arbitrary arrests and detention. Severe and life-threatening conditions in prison and detention facilities, prolonged pretrial detention, lack of an independent and effective judiciary, and arbitrary interference with privacy, family, and home also remained serious problems. Security forces retained and recruited child soldiers and compelled forced labor by civilians. Government corruption remained pervasive. Security forces at times beat or threatened local human rights advocates and obstructed or threatened UN human rights investigators. Discrimination against women and ethnic minorities, trafficking in persons, child labor, and lack of protection of workers' rights continued to be pervasive throughout the country.
"Violence against women and girls"
High levels of rape and other forms of sexual violence continued throughout the country, with a concentration in eastern DRC, where armed group fighters and government soldiers were the principal perpetrators. Many women and girls suffered gang rape, were raped more than once or were held in sexual slavery. Most victims did not receive medical or psycho-social care. The majority of rapists went unpunished and women and girls lived in fear of reprisals if they reported the rape or even sought medical treatment." (Amnesty International Report 2009 - DR Congo)
It is almost certain that Mireille will face immediate arrest and ill-treatment if she is returned to DRC.
Whilst living in Bradford, Mireille has been a member of the BIASAN women's group and the African Women's Circle at Great Horton Methodist Church. She had just re-started English lessons and was keen to improve her language skills sufficient to be able to use the Business Diploma, which she had gained in the DRC, to ultimately gain employment and contribute to the country that has become her home.
What you can do to help / Please take urgent action now
1) Email/Fax/phone, Sam Okwulehie, Group Area Manager Kenya Airways and urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Mireille Mbimbo - you can use the model fax ' Mireille MbimboKA.doc' attached. You can copy, amend or write your own version - please quote, Mireille Mbimbo to be forcibly removed from the UK on Thursday 25th March @ 19.00 on Kenya Airways flight KQ101, from London Heathrow to Nairobi for onward transit on flight KQ554 to Kinshasa.
Fax: 020 8745 5027 - from outside the UK + 44 20 8745 5027
Phone: 020 8759 7366 - from outside the UK + 44 20 8759 7366
2) Email/Fax, Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson MP Secretary of State for the Home Office asking that Mireille Mbimbo, be granted protection in the UK. Attached "model letter" MireilleMbimboAJ.doc which you can copy/amend/write your own version (if you do so, please remember to include her HO ref M1375563 )
Fax: 020 8760 3132(00 44 20 8760 3132 if you are faxing from outside UK)
"CIT - Treat Official" CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk>
Please let the campaign coordinator of an emails/faxes sent:
Sanctuary for Mireille Mbimbo Campaign
32 Merton Rd
T. 01274 727525 (721626)
F. 01274 395324
Registered Charity No 1119463