Human rights defender
Daniel is a human rights defender from the DRC who works on a wide range of topics including women’s rights and SGBV, conflict resolution and environmental protection. He is the chief investigator for the organisation CREDDHO (Centre de Recherche sur l’Environment, le Democracie et les Droits de l’Homme) based in Goma, North Kivu. In the area of Nyakakoma/Binza, Daniel is responsible for monitoring human rights violations and documentations, bringing psychosocial and legal assistance to victims of SGBV and child labour, organising information sessions on human rights and environmental protection and nature conservation of the Virunga National Park and Lake.
Human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The current situation in the DRC is fragile following the contentious election of Félix Tshisekedi in December 2018, the transparency of which was called into question by the Catholic Church and international experts . North Kivu in particular suffers from a great deal of insecurity, with the UN Reporting that this province alone counts for one third of human rights abuses across the entire DRC . Civilians are particularly at risk, and sexual violence is increasing in the form of rapes by armed groups as a weapon of war to harm entire communities . Virunga Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has experienced much insecurity in recent years due to oil exploration. At least 164 people kidnapped in 78 different incidents in Rutshuru, Nyiragongo, and Goma – the areas surrounding Virunga park .
Threats and harassment
Daniel has repeatedly faced death threats, arbitrary arrests and intimidating messages often perpetrated by law enforcement agents and armed groups. Consequently he has had to relocate on five instances, each for months at a time. These instances came from backlash over open denunciations Daniel has made about oil exploration activities in Lake Edward and risks posed by the Mai Mai armed group which is renowned for kidnapping in the region.