Journalism is a risky profession and promoting the human rights of women isn’t easy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but Solange Lusiku Nsimire courageously holds on tightly to the threads of fair democracy in her efforts to make a difference and stand up for civil liberties.
The DRC is perhaps one of the most volatile regions in Africa when it comes to defending human rights. According to research and reports from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), those who dare to report and expose human rights atrocities, sexual violence, or rigged elections have been subjected to numerous threats and attacks; or become victims of false judicial proceedings, death threats, arbitrary arrest, including gender based violence and incommunicado detentions. Government officials and other powerful persons dissatisfied with press coverage frequently charge journalists with such offenses as criminal defamation, insulting the head of state or the government, or on trumped up charges of spreading false information, rather than pursue civil remedies against them. This practice tends to restrict legitimate freedom of expression and freedom of the press, as it intimidates journalists and discourages open and honest criticism of government policy and the conduct of officials.