Peaceful Assembly in DRC

The organisers of public demonstrations in the DRC are required to obtain approval from local government in advance, and protests that do not meet this requirement are regularly prevented from taking place. Spontaneous demonstrations, particularly those with a political focus, are rarely tolerated. In January 2015, protests erupted in Kinshasa and Goma against the head of state’s attempts to delay elections and extend his term in office beyond December 2016. Police responded violently, firing into crowds with live ammunition. Reports of casualties varied but most estimates say at least 42 people died. Protests continue across the country in 2016, as police used tear gas against demonstrators in Lubumbashi.