Statement by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (The African Commission) is deeply concerned about the events currently unfolding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the outbreak of violence on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 September 2016 in the DRC, in particular, in Kinshasa.

    According to several sources, clashes broke out between the security forces and the opposition activists who demonstrated to request for the organisation of elections and compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of the DRC in respect of the Presidential polls. The Government announced that in the course of the demonstrations seventeen people were killed and several others wounded.

    The African Commission condemns all acts of violence and calls on all parties to exercise restraint, demonstrate responsibility and refrain from the use of violence. The Commission calls on all parties to establish an inclusive framework for dialogue between the political actors and civil society regarding the organisation of the elections and the respect for human rights in the DRC.

    The African Commission urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid the use of violence or other forms of repressive measures against peaceful demonstrators and to deploy all available means to protect human rights, in particular, the right of assembly, peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression.

    Furthermore, the African Commission calls on the Government of the DRC to carry out investigations into the events and prosecute before the courts, without any discrimination whatsoever, the alleged perpetrators of human rights violations committed during the demonstrations.

    Finally, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights would like to remind the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo of its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights including other regional and international human rights instruments duly ratified by the country.

    Done in Banjul, 22 September 2016

    African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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      Date: 28 September 2016

      States: Congo

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