Report on deaths in detention centres in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The phenomenon of deaths in detention centres in the DRC is a priority theme for the UNJHRO due to its seriousness and scale. Between 2004 and 2005, the The phenomenon of deaths in detention centres in the DRC is a priority theme for the UNJHRO due to its seriousness and scale. Between 2004 and 2005, the Human Rights Division of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) published three reports on conditions of detention in the prisons and holding cells of the DRC. Each report presented a deplorable picture of conditions of detention in the country and set out recommendations for the Government. Despite calls for action, deaths in detention continue to be of concern, and the data which the UNJHRO has gathered between January 2010 and December 2012 are alarming, as 211 deaths in detention were documented as human rights violations. These deaths are mainly related to the conditions of detention, the lack of support for the basic needs of detainees, and the lack of accountability of prison institutions. Places of detention in the DRC are generally overcrowded and sanitary conditions in them are deplorable. Deficiencies are in particular due to the small budget allocated to the prison service and the fact that it is poorly managed. Insofar as the Congolese Government is not taking adequate measures to meet the most basic needs of detainees where it results in a high number of deaths in detention centres, it is violating its international human rights commitments. State authorities are responsible for guaranteeing and upholding the fundamental right to life of people who are deprived of their liberty.
Date of publication: 13 March 2013
Original language: French