Death Penalty Database

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Information current as of: December 29, 2010

General

Official Country Name

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, DR Congo or Congo-Kinshasa). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Middle Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Abolitionist de facto. The last execution took place in 2003. [3]

Methods of Execution

Hanging.
Pursuant to an 1898 decree, civilians are executed by hanging. [4] The DRC penal code, however, states that the President has the power to designate the method of execution. [5]

Shooting.
Pursuant to an 1898 decree, members of the military are executed by shooting. [6] The DRC penal code, however, states that the President has the power to designate the method of execution. [7]

Comments.
Public executions are forbidden without executive approval, [8] and a 1936 law forbids the photographing of executions. [9]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2823.htm, Oct. 8, 2010.
[2] U.N., World Macro Regions and Components, U.N. Doc. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/29, 2000.
[3] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[4] Decree of the Governor General Regarding Capital Executions, art. 1, Apr. 9, 1898. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 119, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[5] Congolese Penal Code, art. 6, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[6] Decree of the Governor General Regarding Capital Executions, art. 1, Apr. 9, 1898. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 119, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007. Yorkshire Post, Death Sentence for ex-Soldier, http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Death-sentence-for-exsoldier.6355646.jp, Jun. 10, 2010.
[7] Congolese Penal Code, art. 6, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[8] Decree of the Governor General Regarding Capital Executions, art. 2, Apr. 9, 1898.
[9] Ordinance on Photography Taking, art. 1, No. 86/Cont., Aug. 3, 1936.

Country Details

Language(s)

French. [1]

Population

68,000,000. (2010 estimate). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

330-500. In 2010, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions observed that authorities do not keep accurate records of the prison sentences of convicted criminals, and that the total number of prisons and prisoners in the country is unknown. [3] The Congolese government strongly opposed this assertion in its replies to the report, stating that every prison in the country reviews its statistics every day and transmits them to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. [4] By the end of our research, we did not find any information generated by such daily reporting.

Earlier studies by human rights organizations did not discover national statistics on individuals under sentence of death, but estimates in 2005 ranged from 240 to 400 prisoners under sentence of death. [5] At least 94 death sentences have been passed since then, according to various NGO and news reports, [6] which brings the total of death-sentenced individuals to approximately 330 - 500, barring commutations or natural deaths.

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on November 15, 2017)

0. [7]

Executions in 2016

0. [8]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [14]

Executions in 2009

0. [15]

Executions in 2008

0. [16]

Executions in 2007

0. [17]

Year of Last Known Execution

2003. [18]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2823.htm, Oct. 8, 2010.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2823.htm, Oct. 8, 2010.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum, Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, para. 86, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.3, Jun. 14, 2010. See also Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 136, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum, Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 31, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.3, Jun. 14, 2010.
[5] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 136, 163, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007. Eglantine Bourgognon-Roudaut, Interview of Liévin Ngondji Ongombe, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/article.php?art=217, May 23, 2005.
[6] IRIN Africa, DRC: Death Penalty for Soldier Charged With Killing Poll Officials, http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=61450, Oct. 31, 2006; Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 7, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008; Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 19, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009; Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, pp. 6, 27, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010; Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Peine de mort confirmée en appel pour deux Norvégiens, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=1147, Nov. 29, 2009; U.N. Security Council, Thirty-first report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, para. 64, U.N. Doc. S/2010/164, Mar. 30, 2010; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Carina Knaul de Albuquerque e Silva, Addendum, Communications to and from Governments, pp. 53-54, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/26/Add.1, Jun. 18, 2010; BBC News, DR Congo rebels get death sentences for Mbandaka attack, http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/8691243.stm , May 19, 2010.
[7] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[8] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[9] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 24, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 22, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 81, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[18] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder by poisoning, [1] premeditated murder, [2] arson resulting in death (when the perpetrator knew that people were in the facilities and their death was foreseeable), [3] murder to facilitate theft or extortion or to ensure its impunity, [4] torture of an illegally detained person resulting in death, [5] and torture of an enslaved person resulting in death [6] are punishable by death. Under military law, retaliatory killing is also punishable by death. [7]

Murder.
Murder is punishable by death. [8]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Destruction of military facilities resulting in death [9] is punishable by death. Imposing superstitious trials by ordeal resulting in death is also punishable by death. [10]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death. [11]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Committing a terrorist attack as part of an armed gang is punishable by death under military law. [12] Leading, participating in, or providing weapons to a group formed in order to commit assaults against persons or property is punishable by death. [13]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery is punishable by death. [14]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Cultivation, possession, trafficking or commercialization of drugs, hemp or other narcotic substances in military facilities during wartime, or resulting in danger to the facilities, are punishable by death. [15]

Drug Possession.
Possession of drugs, hemp or other narcotic substances in military facilities during wartime, or resulting in danger to the facilities, is punishable by death. [16]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
Misappropriation by a public prosecutor of seized or confiscated goods in time of war is punishable by death. [17]

Treason.
A variety of treasonous acts are punishable by death, including: treason; [18] treason in time of war; [19] assault on the Head of State; [20] participating in an armed insurrection, including as a leader, organizer, or supplier of information or weapons; [21] committing acts of rebellion resulting in death; [22] and forging or using forged military documents if endangering national defense in time of war or resulting in destruction of troops. [23]

Espionage.
Espionage is punishable by death. [24]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Numerous military offenses are punishable by death in time of war, including: desertion [25] and incitement to desertion by an officer; [26] cowardice (fleeing before the enemy); [27] dereliction of duty or incitement thereto; [28] capitulation; [29] improper use, destruction or theft of facilities or equipment; [30] insubordination, mutiny or insurrection; [31] attempting to assist the enemy or prisoners or war; [32] assaulting or insulting superiors or sentries; [33] plotting against a superior; [34] preventing military recruitment or mobilization; [35] and demoralizing the troops. [36]

War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Committing genocide, crimes against civilians and serious violations of humanitarian law in time of war is punishable by death. [37]

Comments.
An attempt is punished by the same penalty as the complete offense, [38] except where a person who attempted an act against the security of the state warns the authorities in time to prevent the offense. [39]

Under articles 7, 57 and 15, the Constitution provides specific definitions of the offenses of treason and crime against humanity, and refers to the law regarding applicable penalties. While the Penal Code and Military Penal Code impose the death penalty for these offenses, it should be remembered that the same Constitution guarantees the right to life as sacred.

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

No. Under article 18 of the Congolese Penal Code, mitigating circumstances (which are not defined) allow for the commutation of the death penalty into a judicially-determined term of imprisonment. [40] Under article 27 of the Military Penal Code, military courts have the authority to sentence any death-eligible offender to imprisonment, provided they specify a fixed term without parole. [41] Both Codes contain offense-specific mitigation provisions for certain crimes against the security of the state. [42] Finally, many provisions explicitly grant the judge the discretion to determine whether a life sentence is more appropriate than a sentence of death. [43]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

No mandatory death sentences are imposed in the DRC. [44]

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

No individual has been executed in DRC since 2003. [45]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Articles 2 and 9 of the 2009 Law on Child Protection provides that individuals cannot be sentenced to death for crimes committed while under the age of 18. [46] Article 114 of the Military Judicial Code states that military tribunals do not have jurisdiction over persons younger than 18 years old. [47]

Additionally, the DRC is party to the ICCPR [48] and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, [49] and is a signatory to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [50] which prohibit the death penalty for crimes committed while under the age of 18.

Pregnant Women.
A pregnant woman may not be executed until after she has given birth, [51] and is likely excluded for some time after she gives birth (see section below on Women With Small Children). [52]

In 1999, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions expressed concern that pregnant women were sentenced to death in the DRC, noting that a pregnant woman was reportedly awaiting the execution of a death sentence imposed on her in 1998 for the crime of armed robbery. [53]

The DRC is party to the ICCPR [54] and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [55] which prohibit the execution of pregnant women and nursing women. [56] However, the DRC has not ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [57] which likewise prohibits the imposition of a death sentence on pregnant women. [58]

Women With Small Children.
Women with small children may be excluded from execution. While domestic law grants an explicit exclusion only during pregnancy, [59] the DRC has ratified the Protocol on the Rights of Women to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, [60] which excludes nursing mothers from execution. [61]

The DRC has signed but not ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [62] article 30.1.(e) of which provides that State Parties “shall undertake to provide special treatment to … mothers of infants and young children who have been … found guilty of infringing the penal law and shall in particular…ensure that a death sentence shall not be imposed on [them].” [63]

References

[1] Congolese Penal Code, art. 49, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[2] Congolese Penal Code, arts. 44-45, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[3] Congolese Penal Code, art. 108, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[4] Congolese Penal Code, art. 85, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[5] Congolese Penal Code, art. 67, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[6] Congolese Penal Code, art. 68, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[7] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 171, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[8] Congolese Penal Code, arts. 44-45, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[9] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 68, 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[10] Congolese Penal Code, art. 57, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[11] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 158, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[12] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 135, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[13] Congolese Penal Code, arts. 156-158, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[14] Congolese Penal Code, art. 81bis, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[15] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 113, 195, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[16] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 113, 195, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[17] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 132, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[18] Congolese Penal Code, arts. 181-184, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[19] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 128, 133, 148, 149-150, 154, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[20] Congolese Penal Code, art. 193, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[21] Congolese Penal Code, arts. 195, 200, 202, 204, 207, 208, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004. DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 137, 138, 139, 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[22] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 91, 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[23] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 72, 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[24] Congolese Penal Code, art. 185, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004. DRC Military Penal Code, art. 129, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[25] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[26] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 53, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[27] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 57, 119, 120, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[28] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 55, 56, 60, 61, 88, 114, 116, 117, 121, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[29] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 58, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[30] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 67, 68, 69, 202, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[31] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 90-94, 113, 140, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[32] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 134, 143, 179, 190, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[33] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 95-97, 100, 101, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[34] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 62, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[35] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 189, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[36] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 59, 146, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[37] DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 64, 65, 103, 164, 166-169, 170, 172, 191, 192, 194, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002. Congolese Penal Code, art. 200, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[38] Congolese Penal Code, art. 4, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[39] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 159, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002. Congolese Penal Code, art. 218, Jan. 30, 1940, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[40] Congolese Penal Code, art. 18, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[41] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 27, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[42] DRC Military Penal Code, art. 156, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002. Congolese Penal Code, art. 218, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004.
[43] See e.g. DRC Military Penal Code, arts. 45, 46, 48, 59, 69, 93, 116, 117, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[44] Congolese Penal Code, art. 18, Jan. 30, 1940, as amended by Nov. 30, 2004; DRC Military Penal Code, art. 27, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[45] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[46] DRC Law on Child Protection, arts. 2, 9, Law No. 09/001, Jan. 10, 2009.
[47] DRC Military Judicial Code, art. 114, Law No. 024/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[48] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[49] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[50] A.U., List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/African%20Charter%20on%20the%20Rights%20and%20Welfare%20of%20the%20Child.pdf, Mar. 1, 2010.
[51] Decree of the Governor General Regarding Capital Executions, art. 3, Apr. 9, 1898.
[52] A.U, List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf, Mar. 2, 2010. A.U., Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, art. 4.2.j), http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/Text/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf, Jul. 11, 2003.
[53] U.N. ECOSOC Commn. on Human Rights, Civil and political rights, including questions of: disappearances and summary executions, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Report of the Special Rapporteur, Ms. Asma Jahangir, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/68, Addendum, Country situations, para. 68, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1999/39/Add.1, Jan. 6, 1999.
[54] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[55] A.U, List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf, Mar. 2, 2010.
[56] A.U., Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, art. 4.2.j), http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/Text/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf, Jul. 11, 2003.
[57] A.U., List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/African%20Charter%20on%20the%20Rights%20and%20Welfare%20of%20the%20Child.pdf, Mar. 1, 2010.
[58] A.U., African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, art. 30.1.(e), A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49 (1990), http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/Text/A.%20C.%20ON%20THE%20RIGHT%20AND%20WELF%20OF%20CHILD.pdf, Jul. 11, 1990.
[59] Decree of the Governor General Regarding Capital Executions, art. 3, Apr. 9, 1898.
[60] A.U, List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf, Mar. 2, 2010.
[61] A.U., Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, art. 4.2.j), http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/Text/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf, Jul. 11, 2003.
[62] A.U., List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/African%20Charter%20on%20the%20Rights%20and%20Welfare%20of%20the%20Child.pdf, Mar. 1, 2010.
[63] A.U., African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, art. 30.1.(e), A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49 (1990), http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/Text/A.%20C.%20ON%20THE%20RIGHT%20AND%20WELF%20OF%20CHILD.pdf, Jul. 11, 1990.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Nov. 1, 1976. [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

Yes. [4]

Date of Accession

Nov. 1, 1976. [5]

Signed?

No. [6]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [7]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [8]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Yes. [9]

Date of Accession

Jul. 20, 1987. [10]

Signed?

Yes. [11]

Date of Signature

Jul 23, 1987. [12]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Yes. [13]

Date of Accession

Jun. 9, 2008. [14]

Signed?

Yes. [15]

Date of Signature

Dec. 5, 2003. [16]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

No. [17]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

Yes. [18]

Date of Signature

Feb. 2, 2010. [19]

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [20]

Vote

Not Present. [21]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [22]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [23]

Vote

Abstained. [24]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [25]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [26]

Vote

Abstained. [27]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [28]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [29]

Vote

Abstained. [30]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [31]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [32]

Vote

Abstained. [33]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [34]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [35]

Vote

Abstained. [36]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [37]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en , last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en , last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en , last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en , last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en , last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en , last accessed Jul. 8, 2010.
[8] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en , last accessed Jul. 8, 2010.
[9] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[10] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[11] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[12] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[13] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[14] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[15] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[16] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[17] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[18] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[19] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[20] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[21] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016. U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Voting Record on A/RES/71/187, Dec. 19, 2016.
[22] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[23] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[24] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[25] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[26] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[27] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[28] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[29] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, includng alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[30] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[31] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[32] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[34] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[35] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[36] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[37] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

No. Article 16 of the 2006 Constitution states that human persons are “sacred”, and establishes the right to life, providing that the state must respect and protect it. [1] No portion of the Constitution indicates that the state may judicially deprive an individual of life. On the contrary, Article 61 provides that under no circumstances, even in times of emergency, may the state infringe upon fundamental rights, including the right to life or the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. [2]

In early 2005, during the parliamentary debates on the new Constitution, a stormy discussion took place regarding a proposed article that would explicitly abolish the death penalty. Both the Senate and the National Assembly eventually rejected it, resulting in capital punishment not being mentioned in the new Constitution. [3] Some have concluded that absence of language prohibiting the death penalty in the Constitution combined with the continued existence of the death penalty on the books means that it may still be applied. [4] Others have argued that although the Constitution does not explicitly abolish capital punishment, it excludes it from its text, which means that any law providing for it might be challenged in the future as unconstitutional. [5] Consistent with the latter approach, in its September 2009 national report for the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of human rights, the Congolese government stated that articles 16 and 61 of the Constitution – which provide for the right to life – “lay the foundations for the elimination of the death penalty”. [6]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

Article 153 states that civilian and military courts must implement duly ratified international treaties. [7] Under Article 215, duly ratified treaties and international agreements shall, following their publication, override national laws, provided the other party implements the said treaty or agreement. [8]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

Before 1997, few executions took place, suggesting a possible evolution toward abolition. With Laurent-Désiré Kabila’s rise to power in 1997 and the subsequent civil war (which raged until 1999), the DRC experienced an upsurge in executions. Between 1997 and 1999, the DRC was second only to China in its annual number of executions. Judicial application of the death penalty was seriously abused as a weapon of war, with the Military Order Court (Cour d’ordre militaire) issuing, on average, 6 death sentences and 3 execution orders per month. The Lusaka ceasefire agreement in July 1999 resulted in a decrease of the number of executions. [9]

In a letter dated June 8th 1999 and addressed to the U.N. Secretary-General, the Minister of Human Rights, acting in name of the government, committed to starting a process that would eventually lead to abolition, the first step being a moratorium on executions. [10] The moratorium was decreed by Laurent-Désiré Kabila in December 1999 but was not immediately enforced. [11]

Succeeding his father, who was murdered in January 2001, Joseph Kabila confirmed the moratorium in 2001 before the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. [12]

In June 2001, the National Conference on Human Rights adopted the Congolese Charter of Human Rights, which provides for abolition of the death penalty in Article 18(4). [13] The Charter, however, has not been promulgated into law and does not have binding effect. [14]

In 2000, 2001 and 2002 Presidents Kabila, father and son, issued amnesty decrees commuting some death sentences to life imprisonment. The decree of February 19, 2000 granted amnesty to everyone sentenced for undermining “internal state security” and thus theoretically covered many people sentenced by the infamous Military Order Court (Cour d’Ordre Militaire or Com). The 2001 and 2002 decrees, however, provided exclusions so limited or vague that they did not clearly concern many people. In practice the decrees have been partially and arbitrarily applied. [15]

On Sep. 23, 2002, one day before the public prosecutor’s pleadings in the Kabila murder trial, the Minister of Justice sent a letter to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to announce the government’s decision to lift the moratorium. [16] While the government justified the decision by stating the measure was necessary to increase security, others interpreted the decision as a direction to the judges in the Kabila case to impose the death penalty. [17]

In the first known executions since December 2000, 15 men were secretly executed on January 7, 2003, for crimes unspecified at the time. These executions were carried out just hours before the Military Order Court (the Com), in its last hearing, issued death sentences to 30 out of 150 people accused of involvement in Laurent-Désiré Kabila’s murder. [18] The Military Order Court was abolished in late April of 2003, [19] soon after the President of the U.N. Security Council, while emphasizing the security and human rights failures of the DRC, stated that the Court was “an arbitrary jurisdiction that…has sentenced to death and caused the execution of a large number of persons (including civilians) without any possibility of judicial review or appeal.” [20] The DRC did not carry out the executions of those sentenced for Laurent-Désiré Kabila’s murder, and no executions have taken place since January 7, 2003. [21]

By 2005, during the Parliamentary debates on the new Constitution, reports suggest that abolition was controversial among the public and that the government’s de facto moratorium depended on the political context. [22] A stormy debate took place over the proposed article explicitly abolishing the death penalty in the Constitution, and the article was ultimately rejected, resulting in capital punishment not being mentioned in the new Constitution. [23] However, Articles 16 and 61 of the 2006 Constitution establish the right to life and enshrine human life as sacred, and the Constitution does not authorize the state to deprive an individual of the right to life. [24]

On December 19, 2005, the President promulgated an amnesty law that was seen by Congolese abolition activists as a big step forward. [25] As of July 2010, we did not find information on how it has been implemented or whether a significant number of death-sentenced prisoners have benefited from it.

In 2006 the legislature abolished the death penalty for the offence of rape resulting in death, amending art. 171 of the Congolese Penal Code. [26]

On May 7, 2009, the President promulgated another amnesty law on acts of war which took place in Kivu. However, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide were excluded from the scope of the law. [27] The state of this amnesty law’s implementation also remains unknown.

In the National Report it submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council in preparation for its 2009 Universal Periodic Review, the DRC stated that Articles 16 and 61 of the 2006 Constitution laid the foundations for the elimination of the death penalty and that a bill to abolish capital punishment was at that time before Parliament. [28] In the same report, the DRC declared that it was “pursuing deliberations with a view to the ratification of international human rights instruments, including...the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.” [29] The DRC also supported Italy’s recommendation that it introduce a formal moratorium on the death penalty with a view to its abolition. [30] As of July 21, 2010 we do not know the status of this abolition bill.

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No. However, during its 2009 Universal Periodic Review of human rights, the DRC supported Italy’s recommendation that the DRC introduce a formal moratorium on the death penalty with a view towards its abolition. [31]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

Reports indicate that most death sentences in the DRC are issued by military courts rather than civilian courts. [32] Until its abolition in 2003, the Military Order Court (Cour d’Ordre Militaire) or “Com” was the source of most death sentences handed down to civilians and service people. The Com was described as “an arbitrary jurisdiction … without any possibility of judicial review or appeal.” [33] This limits the availability of significant opinions on the death penalty.

In recent years, some military tribunals have avoided applying the death penalty. [34] The Militiary Tribunal for the Garrison of Mbandaka invoked the principle of Lex Mitior [the application of a lesser sentence in the event that the penalty has been reduced since the commission of the offense] to substitute the penal limitations of the Rome Statute in place of domestic law and thus preclude consideration of a death sentence. [35]

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

By the end of our research, we did not find sources providing ready or reliable judicial decisions regarding the death penalty. Some relevant case law may be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice (http://www.justice.gov.cd/); the Droit Congolais website, with links to a number of cases decided by various DRC courts (http://www.droitcongolais.info/_liens__contact_.html); and Juricongo, a paying website (http://www.juricongo.com).

What is the clemency process?

After judicial appeals have been exhausted, a death sentence is always subject to an appeal for clemency, which must be introduced by the public prosecutor. [36] An advisory committee—the Supreme Judicial Council (Conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature)— composed of various prosecutors and civilian and military judges, [37] must offer advice to the President on whether to grant clemency. The U.S. Department of State has indicated that the Supreme Judicial Council is not yet established. [38] The pre-existing legal process is that the President is advised by the Public Prosecutor [39] or the Auditeur Général des Forces Armées. [40] Under Article 87 of the Constitution, the President ultimately determines whether to grant clemency or commute or reduce a sentence of death. [41]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

Jury trials are not used. [42]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

The right to lodge an appeal against a judgement is guaranteed by the Constitution. [43] Under article 175 of the Judicial Organization Regulation of Aug. 20, 1979, the public prosecutor must in all cases submit a judicial appeal whenever the accused is sentenced to death or life imprisonment. [44] In its 2005 survey, ECPM doubted that the public prosecutor always fulfilled this duty. [45] Appeals of judgements rendered by the Tribunal de Grande Instance are lodged before the Court of Appeal. [46]

Appeals of judgements rendered by the lower military courts are lodged before the Military High Court. [47] In practice, the right of appeal from military tribunals may be seriously limited. [48] Under article 87 of the Military Penal Code, judgments rendered by military courts in time of war may not be appealed; [49] this provision is contrary to articles 21 and 61 of the 2006 Constitution, [50] and should therefore no longer be good law.

According to the new Constitution, individuals convicted in military and civilian courts may ultimately appeal to the Court of Cassation. [51] They may also, at any stage of the proceedings, seize the Constitutional Court to request a collateral review of their sentence on constitutional grounds alone; [52] this procedural mechanism, however, is not considered to be an appeal per se. Neither the Court of Cassation nor the Constitutional Court has yet been created. [53] The Supreme Court of Justice is to sit as the Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Court until the new courts are established. [54] In practice, the appeals process for civil courts may be more limited than that indicated by the Constitution. [55]

References

[1] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 16, Feb. 18, 2006.
[2] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 61, Feb. 18, 2006.
[3] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 152, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, pp. 81-82, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[4] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[5] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Article, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/article.php?art=216, May 18, 2005. Eglantine Bourgognon-Roudaut, Interview of Liévin Ngondji Ongombe, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/article.php?art=217, May 23, 2005.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 Democratic Republic Of The Congo, para. 36, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/COD/1, Sep. 3, 2009.
[7] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 153, Feb. 18, 2006.
[8] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 215, Feb. 18, 2006.
[9] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 137, 142, 147, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[10] U.N. ECOSOC Commission des Droits de l’Homme, Exposé écrit présenté conjointement par International Human Rights Law Group, organisation non gouvernementale dotée du statut consultatif spécial, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2003/NGO/192, Mar. 17, 2003.
[11] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 148, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[12] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 137, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[13] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted By States Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Third Periodic Report, Democratic Republic of the Congo, para. 66, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/COD/2005/3, May 3, 2005.
[14] U.N. ECOSOC Commission des Droits de l’Homme, Exposé écrit présenté conjointement par International Human Rights Law Group, organisation non gouvernementale dotée du statut consultatif spécial, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2003/NGO/192, Mar. 17, 2003. Pierre Félix Kandolo On'ufuku Wa Kandolo, De L'exercice des droits et libertés individuels et collectifs comme garantie d'une bonne gouvernance en Afrique noire : Cas de la République Démocratique du Congo, http://www.congoforum.be/upldocs/De%20L%20exercice%20des%20droits%20et%20libertes%20individ..%2016.pdf, Jul. 28, 2007.
[15] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir…Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 148-149, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[16] U.N. ECOSOC Commission des Droits de l’Homme, Exposé écrit présenté conjointement par International Human Rights Law Group, organisation non gouvernementale dotée du statut consultatif spécial, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2003/NGO/192, Mar. 17, 2003. Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 150, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[17] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 150, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[18] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 150, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Urgent Action: DRC, AFR 62/004/2003, Jan. 12, 2003.
[19] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[20] U.N. Security Council, Note by the President of the Security Council, para. 8, U.N. Doc. S/2003/216, Feb. 24, 2003.
[21] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : République démocratique du Congo, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=COD, last accessed Dec. 29, 2010.
[22] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 150, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[23] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 152, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 81, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[24] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arts. 16, 61, Feb. 18, 2006.
[25] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, RDC / Loi d’amnistie : la Coalition Congolaise demande de passer aux actes !, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=441, Jan. 19, 2006.
[26] DRC Law Amending and Completing the Penal Code, art. 2, Law No. 06/018, Jul. 20, 2006.
[27] DRC Amnesty Law for War and Insurrection Related Acts Committed in the Provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu, Law No. 09/003, May 7, 2009.
[28] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 Democratic Republic Of The Congo, p. 8, para. 36, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/COD/1, Sep. 3, 2009.
[29] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 Democratic Republic Of The Congo, p. 20, para. 125, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/COD/1, Sep. 3, 2009.
[30] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 14, para. (94).31, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/8, Jan. 4, 2010.
[31] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 14, para. (94).31, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/8, Jan. 4, 2010.
[32] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 145, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[33] U.N. Security Council, Note by the President of the Security Council, para. 8, U.N. Doc. S/2003/216, Feb. 24, 2003.
[34] Franck Gorchs-Chacou & Caroline Sculier, The Death Penalty in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Protagonists, Arguments and Strategies, p. 15, World Coalition Against Death Penalty, http://www.worldcoalition.org/modules/wfdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=25&lid=323, May 2008.
[35] Avocats Sans Frontières, Case Study, The Application of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court by the Courts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, p. 19, http://www.asf.be/publications/ASF_CaseStudy_RomeStatute_Light_PagePerPage.pdf, 2009.
[36] DRC Military Judicial Code, art. 345, Law No. 023/2002, Nov. 18, 2002. DRC Regulation on Judicial Organization, art. 175, Law No. 299/79, Aug. 20, 1979.
[37] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 152, Feb. 18, 2006.
[38] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2823.htm, Oct. 8, 2010.
[39] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma. Rapport de mission. Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Edition 2007 Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 144, n. 4, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[40] DRC Military Judicial Code, art. 162, No. 023/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[41] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 87, Feb. 18, 2006.
[42] U.S. Department of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, , Mar. 11, 2010.
[43] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 21, Feb. 18, 2006. However, arts. 153 & 163 of the Constitution provide otherwise for certain categories of persons such as members of parliament, the president and the prime minister.
[44] DRC Regulation on Judicial Organization, art. 175, No. 299/79, Aug. 20, 1979.
[45] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 144, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[46] Dunia Zongwe, François Butedi and Phebe Mavungu Clément, The Legal System and Research of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): An Overview, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Democratic_Republic_Congo1.htm#_2.6.1._The_existing, Sep. 2010.
[47] Dunia Zongwe, François Butedi and Phebe Mavungu Clément, The Legal System and Research of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): An Overview, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Democratic_Republic_Congo1.htm#_2.6.1._The_existing, Sep. 2010.
[48] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denial of a Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[49] DRC Military Judicial Code, arts. 18, 87, Law No. 023/2002, Nov. 18, 2002.
[50] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arts. 21, 61, Feb. 18, 2006. However, arts. 153 & 163 of the Constitution provide otherwise for certain categories of persons such as the members of the parliament, the president and the prime minister.
[51] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 153, Feb. 18, 2006.
[52] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 162, Feb. 18, 2006.
[53] Dunia Zongwe, François Butedi and Phebe Mavungu Clément, The Legal System and Research of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): An Overview, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Democratic_Republic_Congo1.htm#_2.6.1._The_existing, Sep. 2010.
[54] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 223, Feb. 18, 2006.
[55] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denial of a Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Prisoners sentenced to death are not kept in a specific facility but scattered in different prisons across the country. However, the Buluwo prison in Likasi (100km away from Lubumbashi) is thought to host mainly people serving long sentences and people condemned to death. In the Kinshasa Penitentiary and Reeducation Center (CPRK), the death-sentenced prisoners are kept in a separate dormitory. [1]

Description of Prison Conditions

Prisons are in “atrocious state” according to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, who visited the country in October 2009. [2] The Minister of Justice acknowledged that “prison conditions are ’horrible’ and that many people in detention die of hunger”. [3] In an April 2009 report, the High Commissioner for Human Rights indicated that “confinement in a Congolese prison in itself often amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” and that from March 2008 to March 2009, at least 65 inmates had died “due to severe overcrowding, malnutrition, lack of health care and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” [4] In a later report dating from January 2010, she indicates that this situation has not improved. [5] In their report to the Human Rights Council in its 2009 Universal Periodic Review of human rights, the Congolese authorities acknowledged that the dilapidated prison infrastructure was one of the factors hindering the rapid progress of human rights in the DRC. [6]

Medical services and hygiene are non-existent, leading to deaths. [7] Prisons are overcrowded, with the U.N. Secretary General reporting in 2008 that prison occupancy was “as high as 600 per cent of capacity.” [8] Cells are narrow and lack light and air. [9] The Kinshasa Penitentiary and Reeducation Center (CPRK) is the only prison that receives a small food budget from the State. [10] Elsewhere, prisoners survive thanks to their families, who must often pay bribes to prison staff in order to ensure that the food reaches the prisoners. “Those without family assistance slowly starve.” [11]

Violence is common. Prisons are mainly controlled internally by prisoners, the authorities controlling only from the outside. This is particularly problematic because convicts and pretrial detainees, adults and children, men and women all are detained together. Riots occur regularly, whatever food is available is simply taken by stronger prisoners, and male prisoners have on one reported occasion broken into female prison sections to rape female prisoners. [12]

In January 2010, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reported the frequent use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment on detainees in custody. [13] This might affect prisoners on death row, either directly or because they are held in an environment where torture and other forms of abuse are committed.

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

Yes. Two Norwegians (one of them also a British national) were sentenced to death for murder, espionage and arms smuggling in September 2009. [14] The sentences were upheld by a higher court in June 2010. [15] In August 2007, three Ugandans and two Kenyans were sentenced to death by the military tribunal of Butembo. [16]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

Two Norwegians (one of them also of British nationality) were sentenced to death for murder, espionage and arms smuggling in September 2009. [17] The sentences were upheld by a higher court in June 2010. [18] In August 2007, three Ugandans and two Kenyans were sentenced to death by the military tribunal of Butembo. [19]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

As of July 22, 2010 we did not find information about women on death row in the DRC.

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

Despite the prohibition against capital punishment or military trials for crimes committed while under the age of 18, reports indicate that minors may be on death row because of difficulties in proving their age at the time of the alleged offense. [20]

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

Corruption of judicial personnel is widespread, [21] and reports indicate that only the poor –who cannot afford bribes—are condemned to death. [22] During its 2005 survey, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort interviewed 61 detainees condemned to death. [23] A large number of them stated that they received capital punishment because they had not been able to pay a bribe demanded by their judges. [24]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

U.S. Department of State reports indicate that the DRC only occasionally provides legal counsel to defendants. [25]

Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees the right to a defense: “every person has the right to defend herself, either in person or through counsel of her own choosing, at every stage in criminal proceedings, including during police and pretrial investigations”. [26] Bar associations are by law in charge of organizing legal aid offices providing free legal advice and representation to indigent people. [27]

In practice, indigent defendants do not receive adequate counsel. Lawyers appointed by the Free Consultation Office (Bureau de consultation gratuite or BCG) are required to provide free assistance to accused persons who cannot afford to pay a lawyer. But as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers points out in its 2008 report, “these lawyers are usually inexperienced and poorly motivated to handle these cases, for which they are not paid. The State budget does not contain any provision for paying lawyers providing free legal aid to indigents, who make up the majority of the population in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In many cases, especially in the eastern regions (…), the free legal aid services are not operational, and this assistance is sometimes provided by NGOs”. [28] One of these NGOs, Avocats Sans Frontières, emphasizes the slowness with which pro bono lawyers are assigned and their failure to follow up on their cases. [29] Moreover, most people are not aware of the existence of legal aid. [30]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

The U.S. Department of State reports that the DRC only occasionally provides legal counsel to defendants. [31]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

In its 2005 survey, ECPM asked 44 detainees condemned to death about their lawyer. 24 answered that they did not get help from any lawyer. Some of them did not even know that lawyers existed. In the same survey, ECPM deplored lawyers’ insufficient knowledge of military criminal procedure. Contact between defendants and lawyers may be limited. Legal aid lawyers often refuse to work without being paid or botch their cases. [32] Current U.S. Department of State reports indicate that as of 2009 this situation had not improved. [33]

In a 2008 report, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers observed serious obstacles to the exercise of the legal profession: “All too often, judges demand money from lawyers, on pain of finding against their clients if they do not pay. Some lawyers therefore give in to corruption, and those who resist it face many difficulties”. [34] Other obstacles are “the threats, intimidation and assault to which lawyers are subjected, not only by some judges, but by the opposing parties. Judges often summon lawyers on some pretext just before their client’s hearings, in order to intimidate them and interfere with their work. This prevents lawyers from attending hearings and defending their clients.” [35]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

The judiciary is funded with less than 1% of the national budget. [36] There are fewer than 200 courts, only a quarter of which actually functioned in 2009. [37] There is also a shortage of qualified magistrates. [38] According to the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, “[l]acking adequate training and professional knowledge, judges often deliver judgements that are vague, poorly drafted and legally weak.” [39] Public prosecutors, examining magistrates and judges tend not to assiduously respect the law. [40] This results in miscarriage of justice [41] or no justice at all – people remaining in preventive detention while their files are abandoned. [42] Because files are not properly kept or because they simply do not exist, the penitentiary administration is unable to determine the situation of the detainees – most of the time, for instance, neither the administration nor prisoners sentenced to death can ascertain if an appeal has effectively been lodged. [43]

The justice system is tainted by political interference and corruption [44] , particularly among magistrates. [45]

Many accused are sentenced to death without proper due process and have been subjected to violence. [46] The U.N. Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers recently expressed concern that his urgent March 2010 appeal, launched following M. Yangambi’s sentence to death, had remained without answer from the Congolese government. M. Yangambi, a lawyer and human rights activist, had been sentenced to death based on declarations he made under torture. [47] Trials sometimes last only a few hours, and the accused might even not know that his trial is taking place. [48]

While the legislature recognised the “wicked” character of the Military Order Court (Cour d’ordre militaire) and suppressed it in 2003, the persons the Court sentenced to death were still in jail in 2005. [49]

References

[1] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma. Rapport de mission. Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Edition 2007 Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 136, 139, 186, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum, Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 1, p. 19, para. 82, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.3, Jun. 1, 2010.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum, Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 19, para. 82, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.3, Jun. 1, 2010.
[4] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights and the activities of her Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, para. 44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/58, Apr. 2, 2009.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights and the activities of her Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 6, para. 10, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/64, Jan. 28, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 Democratic Republic Of The Congo, p. 20, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/COD/1, Sep. 3, 2009.
[7] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm , Mar. 11, 2010.
[8] U.N. Security Council, Fourth special report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 9, para. 39, U.N. Doc. S/2008/728, Nov. 21, 2008.
[9] Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, pp. 5, 33, http://www.asf.be/publications/publication_RDC_detention_provisoire.pdf , Sep., 2008.
[10] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010. Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, p. 34, http://www.asf.be/publications/publication_RDC_detention_provisoire.pdf, Sep., 2008.
[11] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum, Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 19, para. 83, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.3, Jun. 1, 2010. U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm , Mar. 11, 2010.
[12] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum, Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, pp. 19-20, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.3, Jun. 1, 2010. Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, p. 5, http://www.asf.be/publications/publication_RDC_detention_provisoire.pdf, Sep., 2008.
[13] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights and the activities of her Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 7, para. 13, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/64, Jan. 28, 2010.
[14] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Peine de mort confirmée en appel pour deux Norvégiens, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=1147, Nov. 29, 2009.
[15] AFP, Norwegian duo get death penalty in Congo, The Sydney Morning Herald, http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/norwegian-duo-get-death-penalty-in-congo-20100610-y0ot.html, Jun. 10, 2010.
[16] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Sept condamnations à mort, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=827, Aug. 8, 2007.
[17] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Peine de mort confirmée en appel pour deux Norvégiens, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=1147, Nov. 29, 2009.
[18] AFP, Norwegian duo get death penalty in Congo, The Sydney Morning Herald, http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/norwegian-duo-get-death-penalty-in-congo-20100610-y0ot.html, Jun. 10, 2010.
[19] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Sept condamnations à mort, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=827, Aug. 8, 2007.
[20] Anjan Sundaram, Congolese Minors Sit on Death Row, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=33017, Apr. 26, 2006.
[21] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, Addendum, Mission to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 16 para. 62, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.2, Apr. 11, 2008.
[22] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma. Rapport de mission. Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Edition 2007 Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 203, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007. The statement can also be derived from Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, p. 27, http://www.asf.be/publications/publication_RDC_detention_provisoire.pdf , Sep., 2008.
[23] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 136, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[24] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 202, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[25] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denial of a Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[26] The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, art. 19, Feb. 18, 2006.
[27] DRC Ordinance-Law on the Organization of a Legal Bar and Public Defenders, art. 43, Law No. 79-028, Sep. 28, 1979.
[28] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, Addendum, Mission to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 12, para. 44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.2, Apr. 11, 2008.
[29] Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, p. 26, www.asf.be/publications/RDC_EtudeDétPréventive2008.pdf, Sep., 2008.
[30] Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, p. 5, www.asf.be/publications/RDC_EtudeDétPréventive2008.pdf, Sep., 2008.
[31] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denial of a Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[32] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 203, 204, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[33] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denial of a Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[34] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, Addendum, Mission to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 13, para. 47, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.2, Apr. 11, 2008.
[35] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, Addendum, Mission to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 13, para. 48, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.2, Apr. 11, 2008.
[36] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[37] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[38] Anjan Sundaram, Congolese Minors Sit on Death Row, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=33017, Apr. 26, 2006.
[39] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, Addendum, Mission to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 8, para. 23, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.2, Apr. 11, 2008.
[40] Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, p. 5, www.asf.be/publications/RDC_EtudeDétPréventive2008.pdf, Sep., 2008. Anjan Sundaram, Congolese Minors Sit on Death Row, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=33017, Apr. 26, 2006.
[41] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, p. 158, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[42] Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, p. 5, www.asf.be/publications/RDC_EtudeDétPréventive2008.pdf, Sep., 2008. ECPM reports the case of a 23 year old boy, who in 2005 was already awaiting his trial in jail for 5 years, who had been taken out of the prison to be executed and remained 3 hours bounded at the stake before the authorities realised he had not been convicted yet (Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 179-180, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007).
[43] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 189, 191, 212, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[44] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, Addendum, Mission to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 2, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.2, Apr. 11, 2008.
[45] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135947.htm , Mar. 11, 2010.
[46] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 197, 207, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[47] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Carina Knaul de Albuquerque e Silva, Addendum, Communications to and from Governments, pp. 53-54, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/26/Add.1, Jun. 18, 2010.
[48] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 204, 205, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.
[49] Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 136, 137, 155, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

In its 2006 Concluding Observations on DRC’s compliance with the ICCPR, [1] the Human Rights Committee expressed concern about the high number of death sentences still being handed down while the moratorium on executions had been suspended since 2002. It recommended that the DRC ensure that the death sentence only be imposed for the most serious crimes. [2] The DRC frankly acknowledged “the poor conditions of detention in the country’s prisons, including the unacceptable state of sanitation and nutrition and the widespread overcrowding in these institutions.” Accordingly, the Committee recommended that the DRC ensure that detention conditions be compatible with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and that prisoners be adequately fed. [3] The Committee also expressed concern regarding “the continued existence of military courts and […] the absence of guarantees of a fair trial in proceedings before these courts.” [4]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

In its 2010 report following the DRC’s Universal Periodic Review of human rights, the Human Rights Council recommended that the DRC formalize the current moratorium on the death penalty, abolish the death penalty, and ratify the second optional protocol to the ICCPR. [5]

References

[1] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 40 of the covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Democratic Republic of the Congo, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/COD/CO/3, Apr. 26, 2006.
[2] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 40 of the covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 5, para. 17, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/COD/CO/3, Apr. 26, 2006.
[3] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 40 of the covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 6, para. 20, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/COD/CO/3, Apr. 26, 2006.
[4] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties under article 40 of the covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 6, para. 21, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/COD/CO/3, Apr. 26, 2006.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Democratic Republic of the Congo, pp. 12, 14, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/8, Jan. 4, 2010.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Collectif des Organisations des Jeunes Solidaires du Congo-Kinshasa (COJESKI - RDC) (Congo Kinshasa Youth Solidarity Organization Collective)
Mr. Fernandez Murhola
Coordinateur national (National coordinator)
N°22 Avenue Cimbushi, Quartier Motel FIKIN, Commune de Limeté
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Tel: +243 998 121 369
Fax: +33 8 21 18 84 48
cojeski_rdcongo@yahoo.com
www.cojeski.org

Comité des Observateurs des Droits de l'Homme (CODHO) (Human Rights Observers Committee)
Mr. N'Sii Luanda Shandwe
Président/Chairman
Immeuble Veve Center, 1er étage L.4 - 2, rue Bongandanga - Q/ Anciens combattants - C/ Kasa-Vubu
BP 20, Kinshasa 7, Democratic Republic of Congo
nsiiluanda_codho@yahoo.fr

Congolese Youth Movement
Mr. Robert Wangachumo
Secrétaire (Secretary)
Commune de Kadutu Buholo VI
243 Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Tel: +243 99 77 87 182
Fax: +243 2 35 71 06 05
congyouth@yahoo.fr

Culture pour la Paix et la Justice
Mr. Liévin Ngondji
Président (President)
N°278 avenue des Mandariniers - Commune de la Gombe
BP 12369, Kinshasa 1, Democratic Republic of Congo
cpj_ong@yahoo.fr

Pax Christi Uvira asbl
Mr. Jean-Jacques de Christ Nganya
Secrétaire exécutif
7, av. P.E. Lumumba
Uvira -Sud Kivu , Democratic Republic of Congo
Tel: +243 81 32 02 237
Fax: +257 79 97 64 05
dechristnganya@yahoo.fr
www.paxchristi.net

Ligue pour la Défense et la vulgarisation des droits de l'homme (LDVDH) (League for the Defense and Dissemination of Human Rights)
Mr. Christian Mafuila
Président (President) br> Av. des ateliers centraus n°7, Q. NOKI II-
Bas-Congo 10 Mbanza-Ngungu, RD Congo
Tel: +243 815037352
laldvdh1999@yahoo.fr
http://recim.org/ascop/ldvdh-fr.htm

Centre d'Observation des Droits de l'Homme et d'Assistance Sociale (CODHAS)
Hervé Nsabimana
Coordinator
Province du Nord-Kivu, Territoire de Rutshuru/ville
113 Rutshuru, Democratic Republic of Congo
Tel: +243 998695790
codhasrdc07@yahoo.fr

Comite Des Journalistes Congolais Contre La Peine De Mort
Mr. Désiré-Israël Kazadi
President
12A, avenue Kasongo, Quartier Socimat, Commune de la Gombe
BP 730 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Tel: +243 998167713
jpdhcongo@yahoo.fr

Observatoire National des Prisons
Mr. Christian Buzigwa
Coordinateur national
BP 333 Cyangugu, Rwanda
grafkivu@yahoo.fr

Réseau des associations des droits de l’Homme contre la peine de mort - RADHOMA
Mr. Baudouin Kipaka Basilimu
Secrétaire exécutif
Via BP 6848 Bujumbura, Burundi
radhoma_congo@yahoo.fr

Union Chrétienne pour le Progrès et la Défense des Droits de l'Homme
Mr. Daniel Mutambala Mazinda
Coordinateur
Avenue Alpha n°40
BP 6999 Bujumbura, Burundi
Tel: +241 816880257
ucpdho@yahoo.fr

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

None.

Helpful Reports and Publications

Maela Bégot & Liévin Ngondji, Les « sans-voix » de la République démocratique du Congo – Enquête dans les couloirs de la mort de Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Buluwo, Kindu et Goma, Rapport de mission, Août à octobre 2005, in Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Abolir… Rapport annuel de l’association ECPM pour l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort, pp. 133-226, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, 2007.

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, Addendum, Mission to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.2, Apr. 11, 2008.

Franck Gorchs-Chacou & Caroline Sculier, The Death Penalty in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Protagonists, Arguments and Strategies, World Coalition Against Death Penalty, http://www.worldcoalition.org/modules/wfdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=25&lid=323, May 2008.

Avocats Sans Frontières, Etat des lieux de la détention provisoire en République démocratique du Congo juillet 2006 - avril 2008, http://www.asf.be/publications/publication_RDC_detention_provisoire.pdf, Sep., 2008.

Avocats Sans Frontières, Case Study, the application of the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court by the courts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, http://www.asf.be/publications/ASF_CaseStudy_RomeStatute_Light_PagePerPage.pdf, 2009.

U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Democratic Republic of the Congo, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/8, Jan. 4, 2010.

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights and the activities of her Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/64, Jan. 28, 2010.

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum, Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.3, Jun. 1, 2010.

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Carina Knaul de Albuquerque e Silva, Addendum, Communications to and from Governments, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/26/Add.1, Jun. 18, 2010.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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