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Human Rights Committee Considers Report of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

 Presenting the report, Marie-Ange Mushobekwa, Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said that the Government had taken several legislative, judiciary and administrative measures to give effect to the rights recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 17, 2017/APO/ --

 

The Human Rights Committee this morning completed its consideration of the fourth periodic report of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on its implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Presenting the report, Marie-Ange Mushobekwa, Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said that the Government had taken several legislative, judiciary and administrative measures to give effect to the rights recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, noting that the right to equality and the principle of non-discrimination were at the centre of human rights. The Government was determined to examine the crimes committed by the mystical tribal movement called Kamuina Nsapu and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Notwithstanding those inquiries, the Government was waiting for the arrival of an expert team of the United Nations and the African Union, in order to provide technical assistance to the country and determine responsibility concerning the events in the Kasai province. As for the fight against sexual violence, it remained at the centre of the Government’s efforts. Ms. Mushobekwa reaffirmed the policy of zero tolerance vis-à-vis sexual violence, noting that significant progress had been achieved in the past months.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Experts praised the activities of various non-governmental organizations, and welcomed the moratorium on the death penalty, and the adoption of a law for the establishment of the national human rights commission. At the same time, they reminded of the conclusions of the so-called mapping report of 2010, namely that impunity had encouraged new human rights violations, and that it was necessary to set up a holistic policy for transitional justice. Experts highlighted the issue of fair elections and the mandate of the current President. They noted that several candidates had encountered problems with law and order forces, had disappeared and allegedly been tortured. They wondered whether judicial institutions used those procedures to prevent certain candidates from running for election. Experts also raised concern about harmful practices against women, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, gender-based violence, enforced disappearances and summary executions, abortion, protection of civilians in conflict zones, arbitrary and incommunicado detentions, events in Kinshasa in September 2016 and across the country in December 2016, recruitment of child soldiers, restrictions on peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, the ban on political rallies, harassment and threats against journalists, human rights defenders and political opponents, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

 

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Mushobekwa thanked Committee Experts for their constructive criticism, noting that the questions they had raised were in the minds of young Africans. She noted that it would be good if the Committee allowed the Democratic Republic of the Congo to make more progress in order not to have to repeat the same things every year.

Yuji Iwasawa, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation for their very detailed and frank responses. The Committee was aware of the challenges faced by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the unstable situation, especially in the Kasai province. The Committee had exchanged views on customs, culture and the development of human rights. The Committee noted the progress made, and that customary courts had been replaced by ordinary courts. However, there were still concerns about many outstanding issues.

 

 

The delegation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Human Rights, and the Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

 

 

The Committee will next meet in public on Tuesday, 17 October, at 3 p.m. to consider the sixth periodic report of the Dominican Republic (CCPR/C/DOM/6).
 

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