On Wednesday June 2, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire, Executive Director of the Congolese human rights organisation, La Voix des Sans Voix (VSV), who was found dead in his car in Kinshasa. Floribert Chebeya Bahizire was an outspoken civil society critic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He showed exemplary courage in his peaceful pursuit of basic human and social rights for Congolese people.
Floribert Chebeya Bahirize's pursuit of justice led him to support efforts by forest communities in the DRC to stand up for their rights. On September 2006, a seminar organized in Bumba by VSV gave 29 villagers and human rights activists the courage to sign a petition to the government complaining of logging practices by the companies SIFORCO, a subsidiary of the Swiss German Danzer group, and TransM. In reaction to the petition, SIFORCO filed a libel suit against them, which is still being fought.
Against SIFORCO stand also Greenpeace, which deplored with a press release "any form of intimidation leveled at courageous members of civil society" and supports the numerous calls by Congolese and international human rights organisations and the United Nations for an independent and thorough investigation into the death of Floribert Chebeya Bahizire and into the disappearance of his driver.