Democratic Republic of the Congo

15 activists sentenced to prison for peacefully protesting under State of Siege in Eastern DRC

Human rights organisations have highlighted civic space violations committed under the State of Siege, which imposed martial law in the conflict-ridden provinces of Ituri and North Kivu in May 2021. Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented a dozens of cases where police and the military have suppressed peaceful critics, used lethal force to stop peaceful protests, arbitrary arrested and prosecuted HRDs, journalists and members of the political opposition. Some of the civic space violations documented are included in this Monitor update. Read more  |  Read in French

15 activists sentenced to prison for peacefully protesting under State of Siege in Eastern DRC

Three killed in protest against insecurity; judicial harassment of HRDs; journalists assaulted

On 20th December 2021, three people - including a six month old baby - were killed when police opened fire during a protest in Goma, North Kivu. A coalition of citizen movements had called for a ville morte protest action to denounce the increasing insecurity in eastern DRC and, what protesters believe but is denied by authorities, plans to deploy Rwandan police in the fight against terrorism. Read more  |  Read in French

Three killed in protest against insecurity; judicial harassment of HRDs; journalists assaulted

Rights groups: increase in violations in 2020

Rights organisations have raised concern at the increase of human rights violations in the country in 2020. In its annual report, titled 'The return of the predators' and published on 2nd November 2020, Congolese press freedom organisation Journaliste en Danger (JED) said they had documented 116 press freedom violations, up from 85 the previous year. The majority of violations, which includes one journalist killed and tens of journalists detained, were perpetrated by state actors (authorities and security forces), followed by members and supporters of political parties and armed groups. Read more  |  Read in French

Rights groups: increase in violations in 2020

Protests against impunity war crimes in eastern DRC, journalists and HRD subjected to threats

On 1st October 2020 - on the 10th anniversary of the UN Mapping Report which outlined hundreds of serious human rights abuses, including mass killings and rapes, in eastern Congo between 1993 and 2003 - demonstrations took place in four cities to demand an end to the impunity for the killings, abuses and sexual violence in eastern DRC and the implementation of the recommendations of the UN Mapping Report. Read more  |  Read in French

Protests against impunity war crimes in eastern DRC, journalists and HRD subjected to threats

Activists and journalists arrested, protests dispersed and banned

There has been 'a serious downturn in respect for human rights' under President Félix Tshisekedi's administration in 2020, after some initial human rights improvements in 2019, said Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report published on 22nd July 2020. In the first six months of 2020, HRW documented at least 39 cases of harassment and threats in relation to the freedom of expression and media freedom. Read more

Activists and journalists arrested, protests dispersed and banned

Protests against insecurity in eastern DRC: at least 10 killed

Since 23rd November 2019, protests have been taking place in Beni against increasing insecurity for civilians and to denounce the failure of MONUSCO, the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC, to protect civilians against attacks by rebel militias operating in the region. The protests erupted after more than 100 civilians were killed in attacks in less than a month, believed to have been perpetrated by the Ugandan militia Forces démocratiques alliées (ADF). The protesters accuse MONUSCO of inaction on these killings. Protests also took place in Goma and Butembo. At least ten protesters were killed by Congolese and UN security forces In November 2019, said Amnesty International. Read more

Protests against insecurity in eastern DRC: at least 10 killed

Arbitrary arrests of pro-democracy activists ahead of 23rd December elections

Read our comprehensive roundup of civic space conditions in the DRC with just days to go until elections on 23rd December. Read more

Arbitrary arrests of pro-democracy activists ahead of 23rd December elections

Kabila not running for another term, but human rights concerns persist

Four of the five Filimbi activists who have been in detention since December 2017 for mobilising citizens for the 31st December 2017 protests, as reported previously on the Monitor, were sentenced to one year in prison on 25 September 2018. Carbonne Beni, Grâce Tshionza, Cédric Kalonji and Mino Momponices were found guilty for the charges of insulting the Head of State, undermining the internal security of the state and publishing and distributing subversive writings. Earlier on 17 August 2018, the Public Prosecutor requested a three year prison sentence for the five activists. Read more

Kabila not running for another term, but human rights concerns persist