AI Index: AFR 62/5917/2017
22 March 2017
Item 10 – Interactive Dialogue on the Democratic Republic of Congo
Amnesty International’s oral statement to the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council (27 February-24 March 2017)
Amnesty International welcomes the Human Rights Council’s continued interest in the human rights situation in the DRC.
Since 2015, we have documented patterns of human rights violations and crimes under international law linked to the end of President Kabila’s second and last constitutional term.
Amnesty International has documented the use of disproportionate, excessive and lethal force by the security forces in handling demonstrations.
The Joint Human Rights Office documented the killing of at least 93 people in the context of the 19 September and 19 December protests. To date no serious investigations have been conducted.
The government continues to restrict civic space by banning opposition and civil society groups from
organizing or expressing themselves on issues of public interest. Security forces, including the
National Intelligence Service, continue to carry out arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions of those
calling for free and fair elections.
Authorities have failed to provide adequate remedies for recent inter-ethnic violence in Rutshuru. In the Kasai region, government forces have allegedly used excessive force against the armed group Kamuina Nsapu.
The abduction on 12 March of two UN experts and four Congolese aides who were investigating recent attacks is a sign of further deterioration of the human rights situation in the Central Kasai province.
Amnesty International urges the DRC to:
promptly and independently investigate security forces’ violence and human rights violations during protests and state authority enforcement operations;
lift all unlawful bans on protests and facilitate demonstrations organized by the opposition and civil society groups;
engage in a meaningful reform of the National Intelligence Service and establish an oversight mechanism of its activities
step up efforts – in collaboration with UN forces - to protect civilians in the area of armed conflict and adequately address interethnic conflicts.