December 6, 2018

Ngetha Media Association for Peace implemented and designed self-protection and digital security plans for at-risk Human Rights Defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, human rights defenders, civil society organizations,  journalists, and pro-democracy youth groups who denounce atrocities being committed by the police, military and armed groups fighting throughout the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are at great danger of being incarcerated. Police continued to prevent activists from holding public events and threatened bloggers, youth activists, and civil society leaders as well as protests organizers. In order to address these challenges, Ngetha Media Association for Peace designed and implemented digital security Policy and digital security plan, including documentation of incidents, risk analysis, threat and risk assessment. Digital security training was held in Goma and Bukavu. The training included awareness creation for HRD’s on online-protection and digital safety measures in preparation for December 2018 election. The workshops will involved activists from 30 Human rights Defenders from LUCHA, Filimbi, members of Observatory for Press Freedom in Africa, OLPA Kinshasa, Rudi International in Goma, Revelation Canal in Bunia, Beni Lubero, Bukavu online, Congolese action youth platforms, Bukavuonline.com , Times of congo, Defenders of forest and people rights , Fondation Okapi, Election Congo , Acting for Transparent and Appeased Elections ,Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ), among others. Digital security training covered topics such as Email encryption; Using secure mobile apps; Protecting online communication platforms through using strong passwords and using password managers; Protecting their  against malware, viruses, tools and installation etc, enabling two factor authentications on Gmail as well as on Facebook; How to circumvent Internet shutdown by using apps such as VPNs, Tor etc. The training was part of Ngetha Media Association for Peace ongoing project that aims at contributing to the enhancement of the respect for human rights and media freedom in the Democratic Republic of Congo by promoting digital safety of human rights Defenders, media practitioners, and civil society organizations and institutions as well as election observers. Supported by Radio Free Asia/Open Technology Fund, the project immediate objective are to enhance Digital capacity of human rights defenders to assess and mitigate digital safety risks and how to respond and protect themselves in case of digital attacks; To strengthen digital safety and protection of human rights defenders through implementing digital protection measures and providing Digital security training that is monitored and documented in the Democratic Republic of Congo.