Human Rights: UN expert denounces "massive violations"
October 25, 2005
"Massive human rights violations at all levels" in the Democratic Republic of Congo were denounced in a report presented to the United Nations Security Council by the independent human rights expert Ritinga Frederic Pacere. The situation remains dramatic particularly in east DR-Congo, where several rebel groups and government forces continue to prey on the civil population, despite the 2003 peace accord that ended - on paper - the civil conflict begun in 1998. Pacere also denounces the "excessive violence" used by Congolese security forces in cracking down peaceful demonstrations. "The administration must refrain from sending in the forces of law and order to disperse unarmed demonstrators using disproportionate violence. The use of firearms with real bullets is prohibited", added the expert. His report is also firm in denouncing the judicial system in DR-Congo, in particular that of the prisons: "The prison system is deplorable and inhumane and detention conditions are appalling", underlined the expert, stating "there is no decent food, no health care, no separation of categories of detainees or cells and a complete lack of hygiene".