Elizabeth-TrudeauFollowing DRC’s authorities decision not to renew Human Rights Watch researcher Ida Sawyer, the United States on 10 August 2016 urged Congolese authorities to allow the rights activist to continue resume her work in the country.

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said « We’re very concerned by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s decision not to renew the visa of Human Rights Watch senior researcher for the Congo. Voicing concerns over the expulsions of foreign researchers under similar circumstances in recently, Trudeau said the emerging trend in the DRC « is incompatible with efforts to support greater transparency, accountability and democracy. »

The DRC General Migration Directorate (DGM) meanwhile issued a communiqué stating a number its officers were “used to issue two overlapping visas” to Sawyer which the DGM said ‘is illegal and led to the cancellation of both visas”. The communiqué added “drastic sanctions have since been taken against these corrupt officers”.

Sawyer criticized security forces at the time of using « unlawful and excessive force. » Last January, she called for targeted sanctions against officials responsible for violence against civilians.