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CAT status Status under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment State Party since 18 March, 1996. State Party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention (OPCAT) since 23 September, 2010
Reviewed 2019

Democratic Republic of the Congo

At a glance

Massive human rights violations have been recorded accross the country during the last decades, as the country has faced numerous crises. The protracted armed conflict in the eastern regions for almost three decades and the armed violence in Kasaï during recent years have generalised the use of torture and ill-treatment. Sexual violence has been used as weapon of war for the last 20 years but in general rape has been rampant in the Congolese society. We conducted several trainings with groups of women in the East of the country on the moniroring and reporting of sexual violence cases. This led to important advocacy before United Nations treaty bodies, including the submission of alternative reports before the Committee Against Torture (CAT). Despite the adoption of an anti-torture law in 2011, very few efforts were made to punish perpetrators and to train police officers and prosecutors. The role of the Agence Nationale des Renseignements (ANR, intelligence services), has been central to the practice of torture in the DRC, mainly against human rights defenders and activists, political leaders and members of the media, who have all been arbitrarily arrested, detained in secret detention centers and severely tortured. Following our advocacy for over a decade and the recommendations of the CAT during its April 2019 session, the newly elected authorities decided the closure of all secret detention centres accross the country. The fight against impunity remains an important challenge in a country where a United Nations human rights Mapping report has been published but never followed by investigations of numerous cases of torture and other serious crimes.

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