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Full Investigation Needed into Ignored Riot Warnings, Sexual Violence

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several…
Kasapa Prison
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At Least 739 Civilians Killed in Ituri, North Kivu Provinces Since May

(Kinshasa) – Attacks on civilians by armed groups have continued in two conflict-ridden provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the government imposed martial law in May 2021, Human Rights Watch said. Various armed groups, some…
Congolese army soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers patrol the area of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kilometers from Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, July 23, 2021.
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Police Reform Urgently Needed to Prevent Future Violations

(Washington, DC) – Members of the Colombian National Police have committed egregious abuses against mostly peaceful demonstrators in protests that began in April 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Colombia’s government should take urgent…
A member of ESMAD throws a tear gas grenade by hand at protesters on May 28, 2021 in Bogota, Colombia.
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Extrajudicial Executions, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture in Anti-Guerrilla Operation

(Washington, DC) – Venezuelan security forces have committed egregious abuses against local residents during a weeks-long operation against armed groups on the border with Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuelan security forces opened…
Venezuelans flee from security forces.
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Crackdown on Media, Dissent, Protests

(Kinshasa) – President Felix Tshisekedi’s administration in the Democratic Republic of Congo has increasingly cracked down on the media and activist groups during its two years in office. Despite some initial steps to advance a human rights agenda,…
Police arrest protesters in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, during demonstrations opposing the newly appointed president of the electoral commission, July 8, 2020.
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Arrest Guidon and His Abusive Commanders; Investigate Army Backers

(Goma) – Congolese authorities have not arrested a rebel commander wanted for multiple crimes under a June 2019 warrant even as his forces have continued to carry out summary killings, rapes and sexual slavery, extortion, and forced recruitment of…
Congolese authorities have not arrested a rebel commander wanted for multiple crimes under a June 2019 warrant even as his forces have continued to carry out summary killings, rapes and sexual slavery, extortion, and forced recruitment of children.
News

Improve Wayuu’s Access to Food, Water, Health During Covid-19

(New York) – The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdown are making it even harder for the Wayuu, an indigenous group in Colombia and Venezuela, to survive, Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health said in a joint report…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
News

Armed Criminals Abducted at Least 170 People, Many Women, Since 2017

Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020. Small groups armed with guns and machetes have beaten, tortured, and murdered hostages,…
Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020.
News

Crackdown on Media, Dissent, Protests

(Kinshasa) – The administration of President Felix Tshisekedi in the Democratic Republic of Congo has taken a serious downturn in respect for human rights in 2020. Congolese authorities have cracked down on peaceful critics, journalists, and political…
Police officers clash with demonstrators in Kinshasa on July 9, 2020 in demonstrations over the appointment of the new president of the Electoral Commission.
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Killings, Threats, and Social Control

(Washington, DC) – Armed groups in Colombia have committed killings and other abuses against civilians in an effort to enforce their own measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the arrival of the novel…
National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla members line up in their camp on the banks of the San Juan River, Chocó state, Colombia, on November 21, 2017. 
News

Justice Needed for 55 Deaths in Kongo Central, Kinshasa

(Kinshasa) – Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo repeatedly used excessive lethal force against a separatist religious movement in April 2020, killing at least 55 people and wounding scores more. The government crackdown against the…
Police officers raid Ne Muanda Nsemi’s residence, where more than 200 BDK supporters had gathered, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on April 24, 2020.
News

Over 500 People Killed in Ethnic Attacks

(Kinshasa) – Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have not brought to justice those responsible for the massacres of ethnic Banunu in Yumbi territory one year ago. On December 16 and 17, 2018, hundreds of ethnic…
A burned house in Bongende village, Yumbi territory, on the banks of the Congo River, Democratic Republic of Congo, January 27, 2019.
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Survivors to Testify in Killing of 38 Burundian Asylum Seekers

(Goma) – The trial of six Congolese security force personnel for the killing of 38 Burundians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2017 puts the Congolese justice system in the spotlight. Five soldiers and a police officer face…
The 39 Burundian asylum seekers killed in Kamanyola, Democratic Republic of Congo, in September 2017.
News

Investigate Yahya Jammeh for Rape, Sexual Assault

(Dakar) – Three women have accused Gambia’s former president, Yahya Jammeh, of rape and sexual assault while he was in office, Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International said today. Former Gambian officials said that presidential aides regularly…
Fatou “Toufah” Jallow, May 25, 2019.
News

Former Congolese Soldier Guilty of Rape, Use of Child Soldiers

(Goma) – A Congolese military court’s conviction of a warlord for the war crimes of rape and use of child soldiers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo showed serious shortcomings in the country’s military justice system. The 15-year…
Marcel Habarugira (center) poses for a photograph in Ngululu, 80 kilometers northwest of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2012.
News

Abusive Anti-Crime Campaign Spread Fear Prior to December Elections

(Kinshasa) – Security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo summarily killed at least 27 young men and boys and forcibly disappeared 7 others during an anti-crime campaign between May and September 2018. The campaign, known among…
Security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo summarily killed at least 27 young men and boys and forcibly disappeared 7 others during an anti-crime campaign that began in May 2018. Names of those pictured have been withheld because of security conc
News

Tshisekedi Administration Should Investigate, Prosecute Those Responsible

(Kinshasa) – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s new administration should demonstrate its human rights commitment by impartially investigating and prosecuting the killing of at least 10 people by security forces during post-election…
Police charge supporters of opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu who had gathered outside the constitutional court in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, January 12, 2019.
News

End Information Restrictions During Vote Count

(Kinshasa) – Widespread irregularities, voter suppression, and violence significantly marred elections on December 30, 2018 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Election officials should ensure that the announced results in the…
A polling official counts votes in a school in Kinshasa after the Democratic Republic of Congo’s general elections, December 30, 2018.
News

Ensure Rights to Free Movement, Assembly Ahead of Elections

(Kinshasa) – Government security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo used live ammunition and teargas to disperse largely peaceful political opposition rallies during candidate registration in early August 2018. …
Supporters of Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba run to take cover after riot police fired teargas to disperse them in downtown Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 1, 2018.
News

President Kabila Should Ensure Credible Vote, Abide by Constitution

(Kinshasa) – Government repression in the Democratic Republic of Congo six months before scheduled elections has heightened concerns of widespread political violence. On June 23, 2018, the Catholic Church’s Lay Coordination…
Armed members of the security forces wear black and white skeleton masks, apparently to intimidate protesters, in Kinshasa, January 21, 2018.