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Deportations to Congo Suspended!

The deportation to the Congo is suspended!

We are happy to inform that following a petition that was filed on Sunday with our colleagues Hotline for Refugees and Migrants - Israel, רופאים לזכויות אדם, HIAS Israel, Aid Organization for Refugees - ASSAF and Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), on Monday the District Court suspended the planned deportation of about 400 asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been undergoing prolonged political upheaval as part of a tumultuous election campaign. The presidential elections were held on Sunday after President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the country in the two decades since his father's murder, announced his retirement. However, it is not at all clear whether he is still interested in controlling Congo behind the scenes. The political and social future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is unclear. In addition to allegations of fraud and irregularities in the elections that resulted from the outbreak of Ebola in several parts of the country and ethnic clashes, in recent days it turned out that Internet and SMS infrastructures in the country were cut off and media outlets were closed. Some may argue it happened in order to prevent violence in the country from rising, others would argue that it's another way to silence the opposition.

The petition, written by Adv. Inbar Barel of the Hotline and Adv. Meirav Ben-Ze'ev of the HIAS, described the dangerous situation in Congo, which for the time being does not allow for the cancelation of the collective protection given to the small Congolese community here for about 20 years. For the time being, the District Court issued a temporary injunction suspending the deportation in order to prevent serious and irreversible damage until the final decision on the matter, and ordered the state to respond to the petition by 7 January.

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