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Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo: Serious human rights violations need to be addressed

Interactive dialogue during the 51st session of the Human Rights Council

Geneva, 04th October 2022

Mr. President,

The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and its network members are concerned about the resurgence of serious human rights violations in the DRC. Despite the satisfactory organisation of national consultations for transitional justice and the release of three human rights defenders, from the NGO Jicho La Raiya, impunity prevails.

In June 2022 alone, armed groups killed, wounded and tortured 701 people, including at least 200 civilians, in the east of the country. In July 2022, members of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and the Congolese National Police (PNC) were responsible for 36% of documented human rights violations nationwide. In Maindombe province in Kwamouth and the surrounding area, where a serious humanitarian crisis has erupted, more than 5752 cases of internally displaced persons have been recorded following inter-community violence.

Mr. President,

The situation of penitentiary establishments is still worrying with an overcrowding rate which varies between 30% and 70%. This year, our organisations have recorded 55 deaths in Kalemie prison alone. Preventive detention is the main cause of this overcrowding. The right to habeas corpus is not applied despite the provisions of the 2015 Law of December 31, which enshrine it. A National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture is urgently needed in order to protect the rights of detainees.

Mr. President,

The OMCT and its network members in the country ask you to recommend to the DRC:

- The rapid creation of a National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture in accordance with international standards;

- The improvement of detention conditions, including through the reduction of the prison population;

- The acceleration of transitional justice and the fight against impunity;

- The adoption of a directive inviting magistrates and court officers to apply the right to habeas corpus

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