Washington (August 10, 2016) – U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the Africa and Global Health Policy Subcommittee, released the following statement after the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) blocked Ida Sawyer, a senior Human Rights Watch researcher from continuing to work in the country. After eight years living in Congo, immigration authorities denied Ida Sawyer's work permit and gave her only 48 hours to leave the country with no explanation for the denial.

“Researcher Ida Sawyer has been an important advocate for Congolese human rights, working to call attention to government efforts to silence political dissent. It is unacceptable to silence voices that report on those who simply support presidential term limits. President Kabila is prohibited by the DRC constitution from running for an additional term, and the Congolese government must not abandon the commitments it has made to the Congolese people under their constitution. It is time for President Kabila to publicly affirm that he will step down when his term is over at the end of this year.”