Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

MONUC Monthly Human Rights Assessment: March 2007

Publisher UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC)
Publication Date 16 April 2007
Cite as UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), MONUC Monthly Human Rights Assessment: March 2007, 16 April 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/46caec9e1e.html [accessed 16 December 2017]

Human Rights Division / MONUC

16 apr. 07 – 12.49h

Summary: At least 15 people were arbitrarily executed by the recently mixed FARDC Bravo Brigade in Buramba village of North Kivu on 9-10 March; Numerous reports of arbitrary executions of civilians by the FARDC arrive from most of the provinces; PNC agents implicated in several cases of arbitrary arrests and illegal detention; FDLR/Rasta combatants responsible for over 30 abductions in South Kivu; The Muanda Military Court (Bas Congo Province) sentenced six FARDC soldiers to nine months imprisonment for having refused to obey a cease fire order given during violent clashes in Bas-Congo Province on 31 January-1 February.

Major incidents

1. At least 15 civilians were arbitrarily executed by FARDC soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the recently mixed Bravo Brigade in Buramba village – 106 km north of Goma, Rutshuru territory – on 9-10 March 2007. The victims were allegedly shot in the head on the morning of 10 March. Eleven of the victims were Hutus while the other three were from the Nande ethnic group. The arbitrary executions were apparently prompted by the death of four FARDC soldiers during the confrontation between the FARDC and FDLR in Kabuhendo village – approximately 5 km from Buramba – on 8 March 2007.

2. A president of an NGO based in North Kivu disappeared after he was arrested in Goma on 19 February by the T2 (Chief of military intelligence) of the FARDC Land Forces and transferred to Kinshasa on 26 February by the Office of the Military Prosecutor in Goma. He was allegedly detained for 10 days in the private residence of a FARDC Colonel before his transfer to the headquarters of Military Intelligence (ex-DEMIAP) in Kinshasa. The victim was released on 17 March.

FARDC soldiers were responsible for numerous incidents of arbitrary executions and other human rights violations, particularly the right to physical integrity and the right to liberty and security of persons throughout the DRC

3. On 3 February 2007, a FARDC corporal from the 2nd Integrated Brigade shot dead a civilian in the Rughenda neighbourhood of Butembo in North Kivu. The perpetrator accused two civilians of being bandits but allowed them to continue their way following the intervention of another civilian from the neighbourhood who was able to identify him. However, the soldier pursued the men and, for unknown reasons, shot at the victim killing him on the spot. The Office of the Military Prosecutor in Butembo arrested the perpetrator, who was put on trial and sentenced to death for murder and to the payment of $30,000 US in damages.

4. On 22 February 2007, in Kabamba – 55 km north of Bukavu – a civilian was allegedly shot dead by a soldier of the FARDC 11th Integrated Brigade. According to a local source, the victim refused to carry the personal belongings of military personnel who have been redeployed to Walungu. The perpetrator was arrested and transferred to the Office of the Military Prosecutor.

5. On 24 February, soldiers from Bravo Brigade allegedly shot dead two civilians in Katwiguru – approximately 100 km north of Goma in Rutshuru territory – while they were harvesting crops in their fields. The killings allegedly took place following a heated argument between the victims and the soldiers over the possession of ID cards.

6. During the night of 6-7 March 2007, in the area of Bankoko, in Bunia, Ituri, a FARDC soldier shot dead a woman and seriously wounded a police officer. The officer, a member of the Police d'Intervention Rapide, succumbed to his injuries on 7 March. The perpetrator is still at large.

7. On 10 March 2007, a civilian was shot at point blank range in his residence in Rubaya – about 60 km south-west of Goma. According to witnesses, including the Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the Charlie Brigade based at Chugi, the victim died on 11 March 2007. The perpetrator is allegedly a non-‘mixed' soldier belonging to the FARDC 81st Brigade (ex-ANC) based at Mushaki. The reason and circumstances of the incident remain unknown. The perpetrator was allegedly arrested by the soldiers of the 3rd Battalion of the Charlie Brigade who presented him to the local population for identification on 11 March 2007. The local residents recognised the perpetrator and, in retaliation, stoned him to death.

8. A civilian was reportedly shot dead on 14 March 2007 by the FARDC in Berunda – 135 km west of Mahagi, Ituri District. Details of the killing remain unclear, however, the victim was among five others arrested earlier in the week by the FARDC and detained at the PNC holding cells. According to local sources, the detainees were requested to pay 125,000 UGX and a goat each in order to be released. As the victim was not able to meet the requirements, he was allegedly called in for further questioning and was killed by an outraged bodyguard of the FARDC commander. The incident was reported to the Military Prosecutor who launched an investigation.

9. During the night of 18-19 March 2007 in Uvira, an adult civilian was killed and robbed by five armed men operating in connivance with an identified deserter of the FARDC 110th Military brigade. According to local sources, the assailants broke into the residence of the victim. The perpetrators were allegedly arrested the same night by police officers following distress calls from the wife of the deceased and some neighbours.

10. A civilian allegedly died after he was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by two FARDC soldiers from the 121st Integrated Battalion in Iciba/Kakuku – 88 km south-west of Uvira – on 19 March 2007. The Military Prosecutor arrested and detained the perpetrators on 28 March 2007.

11. In Bukavu, during the night of 27-28 March, four armed soldiers from the FARDC 101st Brigade (formerly the 3rd Integrated Brigade) allegedly arbitrarily executed two civilians in their private residence in Buholo-Kasha neighbourhood of Bagira Commune of the city. The incident took place after the alleged perpetrators broke into the residence of a businessman, held the whole family at gunpoint and ordered the businessman to hand over all the money in the house. After the victim refused, the perpetrators killed him and his wife.

12. According to a local source, on 28 March 2007, a motorcyclist was shot dead by a FARDC soldier in the area of Ndosho, in Goma.

13. Several civilians, including two minors, were allegedly injured and six civilians, including two minors, were allegedly arbitrarily arrested by the police following the violence in the Mobutu neighbourhood of Kananga on 20 March. The incidents took place after the soldiers of the Military Police Camp in went on a rampage in the neighbourhood. They broke into houses, beat the residents and robbed their belongings. The violence was provoked by a fight between two friends, a civilian and a soldier, that caused serious injuries to the latter.

14. A priest of Jomba parish – 90 km north of Goma – was seriously injured on 9 March. According to the preliminary information, the alleged perpetrators were two soldiers of FARDC Bravo Brigade who had come to the parish and shot at the priest injuring him in his abdomen and arm. The reason of the incident remains unknown.

15. Two civilians were reportedly wounded, one of them in the head, by FARDC soldiers from the Lukusa brassage camp on their way to the burial ceremony on 25 March. This incident took place in Lubunga near Kisangani while the soldiers were looting goods and destroying market stalls and telephone booths to show their anger over the death of their colleague. An investigation team from the Office of the Military Prosecutor of Kisangani is currently conducting a mission to Lubunga. Several commanding officers and other soldiers involved in the looting were convoked for investigation by the Military Prosecutor.

16. Two women claimed to have been abducted and raped by two FARDC soldiers (a corporal and a sergeant) belonging to the QG Company of the 5th Military Region, on 28 February 2007, in Bakwa Nsumpi near Mbuji Mayi. The victims were on their way back from the nearby village, accompanied by the husband of one of them, when they ran into a group of soldiers who were extorting belongings from passers-by. Both victims tried to hide in a nearby creek, but were seen by two FARDC soldiers who robbed them of all their belongings and then abducted them. The husband was asked to go in search of money to obtain their release. During the absence of the husband, the two soldiers raped the victims. On 3 March 2007, both perpetrators, who confessed to the crime of rape and abduction, were arrested and detained at the Bipemba Police Station. They were later transferred to the Office of the Military Prosecutor.

17. Two 13-year-old girls were allegedly abducted and raped by a corporal of the FARDC 2nd Integrated Brigade in Butuhe – 7 km north of Butembo, on 4 March. The victims were abducted on their way back from a funeral. They were threatened and intimidated by the alleged perpetrator who made them walk for approximately 1 km and then raped them. He released the girls around midnight after ordering them not to talk to anyone about the incident. The perpetrator was arrested on 6 March and detained at the headquarters of the 2nd Integrated Brigade in Butembo but escaped from the holding cell in the night of 7-8 March. This rape triggered a violent reaction from the population on Butuhe who ransacked the facilities of the PNC, ANR and the local administrative chief.

18. Two women, one of whom was a minor, were allegedly raped by the Commander a.i. of the Naval Forces in Lukolela – 200 km south-west of Mbandaka – on the night of 8-9 March 2007. The older woman was allegedly raped in front of her husband. The perpetrator also allegedly threatened the Administrateur de Territoire with a firearm as the latter decided to denounce this misconduct to the perpetrators' hierarchy.

19. An 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by two FARDC soldiers of the 14th Integrated Brigade, on 11 March 2007, in the locality of Nyamukubi – 95 km north of Bukavu in the territory of Kalehe. The source indicated that the little girl was raped because her parents had resisted the illegal occupation of their family residence by soldiers newly deployed to the locality.

20. According to local sources, a 13-year-old girl was raped by a FARDC soldier of the 109th Military Brigade at Katongo – 15 km south of Uvira – on 22 March.

21. A civilian claimed to have been subjected to ill-treatment by three FARDC soldiers who broke into his residence in the area of Bakwadianga in Mbuji Mayi on 24 March 2007. The soldiers were allegedly looking for the victim's uncle who apparently possessed a piece of diamond. The victim has injuries consistent with the allegations.

22. FARDC soldiers from the 908th Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Jules Apatcho continue to regularly commit human rights violations in the diamond-rich territory of Bafwasende of Orientale Province – 262 km east of Kisangani. During the night of 25 March 2007 in Bafwasende, the wife of a soldier of the 908th Battalion was allegedly severely beaten up by Military Police soldiers on the orders of Lt. Col. Apatcho. The Administrateur du Territoire and the 2nd in command of the 908th Battalion were informed of the incident. Also on 25 March, a farmer of Bafwalondi village – 150 km east of Kisangani – was seriously beaten up by two FARDC soldiers from Mambasa Company on their way to Opienge – 400 km and 250 km east of Kisangani respectively. According to the PNC Commissioner of Bafwasende territory, a PNC team from Bafwasende was sent to investigate the incident.

23. A villager claimed that, on 28 March 2007, a FARDC Captain forcibly brought the villager's wife from Nia-Nia village – 79 km east of Bafwasende to Bafwasende, slept with her and forbade the woman to re-join her husband. According to the villager, the soldier beat his wife and attempted to stab her with a knife until the intervention of the neighbours.

24. In March 2007, six FARDC soldiers set up a base in Mvuelle 11 – 34 km from Matadi – and were allegedly extorting goods and money from the local population by imposing fines on people involved in disputes. The soldiers acted as judges in disputes among the villagers and then request goats, chickens and money from the local population as fines for their services. There is no FARDC base/post in the area and it is not known to which unit the men belong.

25. On 20 February 2007, a civilian Hutu from Bunagana village – 99 km north of Goma – was arrested in his residence by soldiers from the 4th Battalion of the FARDC Bravo Brigade under the command of Major Mboneza on the suspicion of having lent his voter's card to a FDLR combatant for the latter to cross the border. The victim was allegedly illegally detained for two weeks in the headquarters of the FARDC 4th Battalion in Rubare near Rutshuru for more than two weeks and released on 8 March after a complaint filed by the residents of Bunagana.

26. On 6 March, a 16-year old child was arbitrarily arrested near Buramba by FARDC soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the Bravo Brigade. The victim is still detained at the Battalion's headquarters in Nyamilima.

27. A 13-year-old child resident of Ruti village near Nyamilima was arbitrarily arrested by FARDC soldiers on 6 March 2007 on the way from school. The victim was forced to show FDLR positions to the FARDC soldiers and later taken to the FARDC military camp in Nyamilima. The victim was later transferred to the PNC holding cells and released on 8 March 2007.

28. On 7 March 2007, ten civilians of Nande ethnicity were arbitrarily arrested in their fields in Ruti near Nyamilima – 111 km north of Goma by FARDC soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the Bravo Brigade and illegally detained at the Battalion's headquarters. All detainees were beaten and otherwise ill-treated by the soldiers and some of the victims have traces of serious beating. Eight of the arrested persons had their voters' cards extorted during the arrest and not later returned. The victims had to spend a night in the holding cell with their hands tied. On 8 March they were transferred to the PNC holding cells where they were released.

29. Three FARDC soldiers from the 1st Integrated Battalion based in Ndrele – 25 km south of Mahagi – and three PNC agents from Ndama – 4 km away – reportedly arbitrarily arrested three civilians of the same family on 23 March 2007 in the village of Djupajalbonyo – 7 km from Ndrele. Two of the victims were released immediately after having paid 135,000 UGX (about $77 US) while the third victim was taken to the FARDC camp in Ndrele. He was released the same night after having been interrogated.

30. On 26 March, soldiers of the Camp Marin (Navy base) in Kalemie arbitrarily arrested and ill-treated a student of the University of Lubumbashi, following an accident between the victim (who was ridding a motorbike) and the vehicle of the commander of the 1st Military Region. The victim also had his belongings extorted by the perpetrators.

31. A civilian was allegedly arrested, severely beaten up and detained at the PNC holding cells by FARDC soldiers and Police officers in Gbadolite on 28 March. He was reportedly released after the payment of $15 US.

PNC agents were implicated in a steadily increasing number of human rights violations during the month of March, especially in Kasai Oriental Province

32. Two civilians, including a 16-year-old boy, were reportedly shot dead, and several others were reportedly seriously wounded by policemen in Lisala – approximately 470 km north-east of Mbandaka – on 20 March 2007. Several police officers were also reportedly seriously injured during the clashes. Some public buildings were ransacked or partly destroyed including the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the main police station. Local sources indicated that the police used disproportionate force to control the crowd. According to a reliable source in Lisala, the clashes broke out following the escape of seven prisoners from Lisala prison.

33. A woman was allegedly raped by a police officer while in detention at the police holding cell in Kayuyu – 67 km south of Kindu – in March 2007.

34. A police commander in Punia – 175 km north-east of Kindu – allegedly ordered the arrest and subsequent ill-treatment of two men from the area. The men were arrested on 3 February in connection with a land dispute they had with a fellow villager. At the time of their arrest, they were reportedly beaten and some of their personal belongings were seized by the police.

35. On 10 February 2007, a mother was arbitrarily arrested with her 8-month-old baby and subsequently subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the police commander in Tshamaka – 27 km from Punia – in Maniema Province. The victim was detained for two days because she had failed to repay a debt within the stipulated period. The police chief allegedly forced the mother to abandon her baby in the holding cell and carry a sack of food stuffs to a mine located some 10 kilometres from the police station. During her absence the infant was left unattended until a policeman's wife, reportedly alerted by the constant crying, requested the commander's permission to provide assistance.

36. On 28 February 2007, 15 armed men, including some wearing the PNC and FARDC uniforms as well as others in civilian clothes, carried out a series of armed robberies in the Minkoka/SNELL neighbourhood of the commune of Dibindi in Mbuji Mayi. The perpetrators followed the same operating mode as in previous similar incidents: they operated late in the night, knocked at the door of the domicile and broke into the house, threatened to kill family members and rape the women before taking all the valuables they could find.

37. In Mbuji Mayi, four civilians became victims of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention, including a man who claimed that his residence had been searched by agents of the Groupe Mobile d'Intervention (GMI), on 11 March 2007, without a search warrant. Under the pretence that the victim was in illegal possession of weapons, GMI agents allegedly broke into his residence, beat him up and looted all valuables in the house.

38. Also in Mbuji Mayi, a civilian was illegally detained by an OPJ on 14 March 2007 at the Bena Kabongo Police Station. The victim claimed that he was arrested on the grounds that he did not pay off a debt of 41,000 FC. In another case, a taxi driver was arbitrary arrested on 15 March 2007 by an OPJ in Mbuji Mayi on the grounds that he had not paid off a debt of 6,000 FC.

39. In Ituri, a demobilised soldier allegedly received death threats and was subsequently severely beaten and mistreated in Nyatsa – 34 km south-west of Aru – on 28 February 2007 by two armed policemen of the police station of Yuku – 22 km south-west of Aru, accompanied by the chef de quartier. The policeman in charge of the operation allegedly threatened to evict all the demobilised soldiers who live in his neighbourhood from their homes. These demobilised soldiers are not reported to have committed any criminal act.

40. In Bunia, a school teacher was allegedly arrested in Kudinywara – 27 km south-west of Mahagi – on 11 March 2007 by two PNC officers from Ngote. He was taken to Ngote and held for seven days. He had to pay 70,000UGX before being transferred to Mahagi on 17 March 2007. After two days in Mahagi Police Station, he was asked to add 30,000 UGX and was released without charge.

41. On 26 March 2007, a woman was allegedly arrested in place of her husband by an OPJ of the PIC. The husband of the victim had been accused of fraud by the OPJ who arrived at the couple's residence with an arrest warrant. The victim was released two days later upon the intervention of a magistrate.

42. On 6 March, an officer from the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC ) in Mbuji Mayi slapped a detainee he was leading to the holding cell several times in the face and then threw him into the cell. The perpetrator was arrested on the spot and sentenced to 15-day detention which was later extended to 21 days.

Other security forces were implicated in several cases of human rights violations

43. According to the chief of Maleke village – 8 km south-east of Kisangani, the president of a local youth group was seriously ill-treated by Republican Guard (RG) soldiers on 26 February 2007. The incident allegedly provoked tensions between the population and the RG. Furthermore, RG soldiers reportedly confiscated identity cards of female passers-by with the sole purpose of retaining the women in their checkpoint until nightfall in order to sexually harass/assault them.

44. The HRD/Bukavu was informed that a woman was arrested and detained in lieu of her husband at the ANR holding cell for a common law case. During a monitoring visit to Kabalo, near Kalemie, the HRD/Kalemie observed that the ANR is perpetrating arbitrary arrests and collecting fines that are not consistent with the law.

45. During a monitoring visit to Kampene – 120 km south-east of Kindu – the HRD/Kindu received the information that two civilians were arrested and illegally detained for five days by the local head of the ANR in March 2007. The two victims, who had been accused of stealing 60g of gold, claimed that they had been subjected to extortion and ill-treatment on the orders of the ANR chief. The latter released them following the payment of a fine of $300 US.

Members of armed groups have continued to commit human rights abuses on the populations of North and South Kivu

46. During the night of 19-20 February 2007 three women were allegedly raped by a group of Rwandan Hutus who carried out an attack on the locality of Kafukiro – approximately 90 km west of Bukavu. One of the women was allegedly raped in the presence of her husband who was later captured by the rebels and taken into the Mugaba forest. He was released on 4 March after paying $130 in ransom. The other victim claimed to have been gang-raped by 11 assailants.

47. At least four other women and a 14-year-old girl were abducted and subjected to sexual slavery by Rwandan Hutu (FDLR/Rasta) combatants since February 2007.

48. Over the past month FDLR/Rasta combatants allegedly abducted over 30 people from the Kanyola administrative zone – 55 km south-east of Bukavu, in total impunity. Sometimes they carried out these attacks very close to FARDC positions.

49. During the night of 27-28 February 2007, a group of Rwandan Hutus reportedly attacked the locality of Nyamarhege – 70 km south-west of Bukavu in Walungu territory. During the incursion, 11 civilians, including two children, were reportedly abducted. One of the victims, who managed to escape, claimed that, on 9 March, the perpetrators shot dead a female hostage who resisted their attempts to sexually assault her. Her death was allegedly used to intimidate and force the other hostages to seek the $180 ransom that was asked for each person.

50. During the night of 2-3 March, two civilians of Hutu origin were abducted in the locality of Buramba, in Rutshuru territory – 100 km north of Goma. The chief of locality of Buramba was abducted in his house as well as a student from Buramba who was abducted on the same night. Perpetrators are believed to be FDLR combatants.

51. The head of Buramba village and another civilian, both belonging to Hutu ethnic group, were allegedly abducted by FDLR combatants in the night of 2-3 march 2007. Both victims have not yet been found.

52. Seven civilians were allegedly abducted by a group of Rwandan Hutu combatants (FDLR/RASTA) attacked the locality of Luhago – 85 km west of Bukavu, in the territory of Kabare, during the night of 9-10 March 2007. According to the same source, the attack took place some 300 metres from a FARDC post but the soldiers did nothing to assist the local population.

53. A woman claimed to have been raped by three Rwandan Hutu combatants in Miti – 25 km north of Bukavu – on 13 March 2007. The three assailants allegedly broke into her residence, stole her belongings and raped her.

54. During the night of 25-26 March 2007, a group of Rwandan Hutu attacked Cihamba, Muhungu and Nabishaka villages – 58, 59, 60 km south-west of Bukavu respectively. Local sources indicated that the assailants had abducted nine civilians. The victims were reportedly taken to the Mugaba forest near Kanyola. This attack took place less than 200 metres from an FARDC position but the soldiers did not react in order to protect civilians. The local population fled to the centre of Kanyola for safety.

Administration of Justice

55. Three FARDC detainees, one of whom was charged with the murder of a 17-year-old boy on 8 March 2007, escaped from the holding cell of the Office of the Military Prosecutor in Lisala, Equateur Province on 20 March. The FARDC soldier and his accomplice were rearrested and sentenced to death penalty and damages (25.000 USD) by the Military Court in Lisala on 22 March 2007. The escape caused a popular uprising in the area and the police were called in to restore order.

56. FARDC officers continued to interfere into the administration of justice. On 8 March, a civilian, who was under investigation in connection with a rape committed by four FARDC soldiers, was released upon intervention and pressure from the Commander of the FARDC Land Forces. On 11 March, two FARDC Majors arrested and detained in connection with the night attack on the residence of a public servant, were released by a Captain, the Chief Escort of the Second in Command in charge of operations of the 8th Military Region.

57. On 5 March 2007, the Office of the Military Prosecutor in Mbandka, Equateur Province, arrested the officer who was the commander of the 9th Battalion in Songo Mboyo whose men staged a rebellion, subsequently attacked the local population and committed mass rapes during the night of 21-22 December 2003.

58. The perpetrator of the arbitrary execution of a civilian in the Rughenda neighbourhood of Butembo in North Kivu on 3 February 2007 was put on trial on 6 March and sentenced to death for murder and to the payment of $30,000 US in damages.

59. Two police officers charged with rape, were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and payment of 105.000 FC and 100.000 respectively in damages by the Military Court of Mwene Ditu, Kasai Oriental.

60. A FARDC soldier accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, was sentenced to five years in prison and payment of $25,000 in damages.

61. On 17 March, the Muanda Military Court (Bas Congo Province) sentenced six FARDC soldiers to nine months imprisonment for having refused to obey a cease fire order given during the 31 January-1 February clashes between Government forces and members of the politico-religious group Bundu Dia Kongo (BDK) in Bas-Congo. They were also charged with extortion.

62. An FARDC sergeant accused of raping a 10-year-old girl was sentenced to five years in prison. The new laws on sexual violence were not fully applied as no damages were awarded to the victim. The Military Prosecutor claimed that he was not aware of the new laws on sexual violence.

63. Hearings in the trial of Marie Thérèse Nlandu, charged with "insurrection and illegal possession of weapons", resumed on 28 March 2007. After two successive hearings, the case was rescheduled for 4 April 2007.

64. Two FARDC soldiers of the 121st Integrated Battalion, including a Lieutenant, who allegedly inflicted cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that resulted in the death of a civilian on 21 March 2007 in Iciba/Kakuku – 88 km south of Uvira – were arrested on 28 March 2007, indicted and are currently detained in the holding cell of the Military Prosecutor.

65. A member of the Naval Forces in Bandundu Province, who raped an 8-year-old girl in the Salongo neighbourhood of the Commune of Basoko in Bandundu-Ville on 14 March, was tried and sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Military Tribunal on 15 March.

Prisons and other Detention Centres

66. In Equateur Province, two prisoners serving life sentences escaped from the Mbandaka military holding cell (GLM). One of two was sentenced for his participation in mass rapes that had been committed in Songo Mboyo, Equateur Province by elements of the FARDC 9th Battalion in December 2003 and had already escaped on 11 November 2006. The second escapee had been convicted for his participation in a mutiny that was staged on 3 and 4 July 2006. The first prisoner escaped during the night of 8-9 March and the second during the night of 11-12 March.

67. On 9 March, six inmates broke out from the Kisangani Central prison by climbing over the wall surrounding the facility but the PNC recuperated five of the escapees one of whom was admitted to the General Hospital because of serious wounds he sustained while climbing the wall. One of the escapees is still at large.

68. A policeman sentenced to 20 years in prison for rape and serving his sentence in the central prison of Mwene Ditu – 135 km south of Mbuji Mayi – was killed by soldiers guarding the prison during an escape attempt on 19 March 2007. According to the prison administration, an investigation into the incident was opened.

69. On 13 March, the inmates of the Mbuji Mayi Central Prison protested against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, extortion as well as harassment inflicted upon them by prison guards, acting on the orders of the prison director. The prison director was later arrested for questioning by the police in connection with the allegations.

70. In Mahagi, during the evening of 10-11 March 2007, 15 out of the 72 prisoners escaped from the police cells. Those who escaped were 12 civilians (arrested for serious offences such as rape or ill-treatment followed by death), two soldiers and one PIR officer (arrested for attempted arbitrary execution). The last three organised the escape during the heavy rain that masked the noise made to open a hole in the wall. Four police officers in charge of the prison were later arrested.

71. On 20 March 2007, one of the inmates of the Bunia prison died in the hospital after having been transferred there while seriously ill.

72. In Ituri District, a detainee allegedly committed suicide in a PNC holding cell in Yuku – 22 km south of Aru – on the night of 24-25th March 2007. The Military Prosecutor, Aru PNC commander and a medical officer went to Yuku on 25 March for an investigation. The Yuku Police Chief and the officer on duty during the night of the incident were arrested.

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