DR Congo

8 April 2016

A two-year struggle against the use of illegal detention in the DR Congo

For the last two years, ASF has been working actively with the Bar Associations of the west of the DR Congo in order to combat the abusive and sometimes even illegal use of preventive detention. In the coming weeks, ASF will come back to three key aspects of this project: the development of the capacity of individuals held in detention to understand and to take action, the legal representation of detainees by specifically trained lawyers and the highlighting of the catastrophic conditions of detention, and the causes underlying the very widespread use of preventive detention.

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7 March 2016

Voices from Kinshasa (2/3): “My goal: to live in a country without injustice”

Defending the rights of victims of injustice and exercising one’s fundamental freedoms remains a challenge in DR Congo. Faced with an often failing legal system and, at times, intimidation, men and women still pursue an ideal: to live in a fairer world. Second of three interviews: journalist Nathalie Kapela, specialised in covering justice matters.

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22 February 2016

Katanga case in DRC: the ICC challenged again in Africa

Kinshasa, RD Congo, 22 februari 2016 – Ondanks de aanvragen van het Internationaal Strafhof (ISH) heeft het openbaar ministerie van het Hoog Militair Gerechtshof van Kinshasa gepleit voor de onmiddellijke voortzetting van de rechtszaak tegen de voormalige krijgsheer, Germain Katanga. Advocaten Zonder Grenzen (ASF) betreurt dit negatief signaal ten opzichte van het ISH.

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8 February 2016

Voices from Kinshasa (1/3): “A snake will bite when cornered”

In DR Congo, defending the rights of victims of injustice and exercising one’s fundamental freedoms remains a challenge. Faced with an often failing legal system and, at times, intimidation, men and women still pursue an ideal: to live in a fairer world. First of three interviews: Alphonse Koyakosi, lawyer specialised in international crimes.

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15 December 2015

Human rights and exploitation of natural resources: A missed opportunity

On 14 December 2015, Mbandaka Military Court sentenced Chief Commissioner Jean-Jacques Koyo, one other police officer and three servicemen on charges of crimes against humanity for the atrocities committed in 2011 against the people of Bosanga, in the village of Yalisika (Equateur province). Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) regrets that the Congolese judiciary did not take this opportunity to reassert its commitment to protecting populations affected by serious violations in connection with the exploitation of natural resources.

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9 December 2015

Human Rights Day: Tribute to civil society

On Human Rights Day, ASF pays tribute to civil society organisations (CSOs) committed to the defence of human rights. These partners of ASF such as human rights associations and bar associations work to make justice accessible to everyone, including the most vulnerable groups of people. Whether in Burundi, Tunisia or Chad, where their working conditions are sometimes difficult, these CSOs are on the front line when it comes to promoting fundamental rights.

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19 November 2015

International crimes: reduced sentence for the warlord Katanga

The sentence of the Congolese warlord Germain Katanga has been reduced and will end in January 2016. Such is the decision taken on 13 November by the judges of the International Criminal Court. ASF is considering the consequences of this decision for the future of cases before the Court and especially for the participation of victims in proceedings. Victims and the Congolese authorities are also afraid of the destabilising effect of Mr Katanga’s return to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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16 November 2015

Crimes against humanity in DR Congo: First conviction in the province of Maniema

ASF welcomes the conviction of a senior commissioner of the Congolese National Police for crimes against humanity. In its ruling on 31 October 2015, the Military Court of Kindu sentenced Colonel Amuri Pia Abraham to 15 years in prison for the rapes, torture and imprisonments carried out by his men in several villages in May 2012. This decision, the first conviction of its kind in the province of Maniema, demonstrates the commitment of the Congolese judicial system to continue the fight against the impunity of perpetrators of crimes against humanity in the DRC.

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18 September 2015

Disappointing appeal verdict in the Chebeya case

The Military High Court yesterday delivered its final verdict in the Chebeya case. This appeal verdict acquits 4 of the 5 defendants and significantly reduces the jail sentence imposed in the first instance on police chief Mukalay . ASF, which is supporting the activist’s brothers and sisters in their civil claims, regrets that the Congolese courts did not take the opportunity offered by this appeal trial to put right failings in previous proceedings. This could have enabled certain abuses observed since this case began in 2010 to be remedied.

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30 July 2015

The many faces of international justice (1/4): DR Congo

Over the summer, as part of the Crossroads project, ASF is bringing you the latest news about international justice. Our teams on the ground give you the lowdown. This week, Dominique Kamuandu, International Justice Programme Coordinator in DR Congo, gives us his impressions of the progress made and what is still to be accomplished.

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