Annual Report: Congo (Republic Of) 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Congo (Republic Of) 2011

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  • Ferdinand Mbourangon died in September after being beaten by gendarmes at the central prison in Brazzaville. He had been part of a protest against the prison authorities' refusal to allow a fellow inmate to attend his child's funeral. Ferdinand Mbourangon was taken to a military hospital for treatment but prison authorities rejected a doctor's recommendation that he should be hospitalized. An autopsy reportedly established that he had suffered internal bleeding. It was unclear whether the authorities took any action in connection with his death.
  • André Bakekolo, a retired police officer, was severely beaten when he went to Ouenze police station in Brazzaville to complain that police officers had taken his property. The police had been looking for his son, who had been involved in a traffic accident. The commander of the police station was reportedly suspended after André Bakekolo complained to the authorities.

Refugees and asylum-seekers

Three asylum-seekers from the DRC spent a sixth year in military detention without charge or trial. Germain Ndabamenya Etikilime, Médard Mabwaka Egbonde and Bosch Ndala Umba were arrested in 2004 in Brazzaville. The authorities continued to refuse to disclose the basis for their detention.

In June, the governments of the Republic of Congo and the DRC and UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, signed an agreement to repatriate about 150,000 people who had fled from the DRC in 2009. It was unclear whether the agreement provided for continued protection in the Republic of Congo for refugees who feared returning to the DRC. The DRC government demanded the extradition of suspected leaders of an armed group accused of causing violence in north-eastern DRC and who were being detained in the Republic of Congo. They had not been extradited by the end of the year.

During a visit by Rwandan President Paul Kagame in November, President Sassou-Nguesso announced that the stay of some 8,000 Rwandan refugees in his country would expire at the end of 2011.