U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Information transmitted to the Government and replies received

657. By letter dated 3 November 1993 the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information according to which civilian opposition supporters, including members of the main opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, as well as members of the security forces identified as opposition sympathizers, had been arrested and tortured, sometimes while held in secret detention centres. It was also reported that about 30 soldiers were arrested in January 1992 after occupying the national radio station in Kinshasa and broadcasting statements calling for the Government to resign. They were reportedly held incommunicado at Kinshasa's Tshatshi military barracks, where they were reported to have been regularly stripped and beaten with whips and gun butts, stabbed with bayonets and subjected to mock executions and, in some cases, sexually assaulted. Two months later, 11 of those arrested appeared at a trial before the Higher Martial Court, which refused to allow an independent investigation into claims by some of the defendants that they had been forced to make false incriminating statements under torture, and rejected demands by lawyers that they should be examined by a doctor.

658. The case of Jean-Claude Bahai was also reported. This person was arrested in Kinshasa on 13 September 1992 by members of the Special Residential Division after criticizing the Government's policies in a private conversation. He was taken to the Tshatshi camp, where he was allegedly stripped naked, showered with a high pressure hose, beaten with military belts, burned with hot metal and shaved with broken bottle glass. He was also said to have been whipped some three times each day. He was released three days later. Although he reported his ordeal to the authorities, no investigation or disciplinary action was reportedly carried out.

Urgent appeals

659. The Special Rapporteur transmitted to the Government four urgent appeals on behalf of the persons referred to in the following paragraphs, regarding whom fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture. The date on which the appeals were sent is mentioned in parenthesis at the end of the corresponding summary.

660. Mukendi Wa Mulumba, lawyer, former president of the bar of Kinshasa and political adviser to the Prime Minister; Mpika, Major, security official of the Prime Minister; Nbaka, Lieutenant; Nyangele; Justin Mobikayi, protocol official of the Prime Minister; Michel Kembo; Olenga Nkoy, official representative of the Prime Minister; M. Akoy, journalist with the newspaper Umoja; and Guillaume Ngefa Atondoko, President of the Zairian Association for the Defence of Human Rights. These persons were reportedly arrested on 13 December 1992 at the Kinshasa airport while waiting for a French delegation whose members were active in the field of human rights. At the moment of the arrest they were allegedly beaten up by soldiers of the Special Presidential Division, then taken to the premises of the Civil Guard and from there transferred to the dungeons of the gendarmerie (CIRCO). Mr. Ngefa Atondoko was reported to have been released while still at the airport, after having been beaten. (23 December 1993)

661. Olenga Nkoy, adviser and official representative of Prime Minister Tshisekedi, was arrested on 29 April 1993 and taken to the CIRCO ("Circonscription militaire") in Kinshasa where, according to witnesses, he was being tortured. He was reportedly charged with instigating a revolt against the legally established authority. (4 May 1993) Another urgent appeal was sent to the Government on behalf of Olenga Nkoy on 14 May 1993, given the fact that he had been reportedly released and again arrested a few days later.

662. With respect to this case the Government replied on 9 August 1993 that Olenga Nkoy was being prosecuted for the following offences punishable under Zairian law: insulting the Head of State; incitement of the population against the established Government and inciting the armed forces to disobedience. A warrant for his provisional detention had been issued, in accordance with the regulations, by the judge in chambers and the officer of the Government Procurator's Office had made an application for judicial review to the Supreme Court of Justice. Meanwhile, the defendant remained in detention and could receive visitors.

663. By virtue of the Penal Code, book 1, article 67, the Zairian Government characterized torture as a crime; therefore, it could not authorize or tolerate it. Consequently, the defendant was safe and sound and his physical integrity was inviolate.

664. Tabura Kabuga, Musabimana, Nzabomimana, Ndambara, Kabunga, Ndayambaje, Kasuka, Muhozi and Kacuku wa Ngeyo, said to be part of a group of about 20 members of the Banyarwanda ethnic group, were reportedly arrested on or around 13 August 1993 in Goma, in the region of Kivu Nord, in the eastern part of the country. Shortly after the arrest, they were allegedly taken to Kinshasa, but their exact place of detention was not known. (1 September 1993)

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