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- Pour les défenseurs
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Republic of Congo
Human rights defenders in the Republic of Congo are subject to intimidation, threats, detention and home arrest, interrogation, false accusations and judicial harassment. Despite the challenges faced, human rights defenders and journalists have been constantly promoting human rights through activities aimed at strengthening the rule of law, good governance, the fight against impunity, transparency of natural resources and citizen participation.
Freedom of association is recognised by Congolese legislation. However, the government continued to ban the assembly of associations on several occasions and their members and leaders are at risk of being interrogated or arrested. Media freedom is restricted and the authorities target with reprisals media outlet and journalists who report critically on high-level officials.
Corruption, and election process are considered as sensitive issues by the Congolese government. There have been instances of defenders and journalists reporting on those issues being targeted and harassed. The authorities have threatened to close down human rights organisations for speaking out against corruption or on fair elections, and accused defenders working on such issues of destabilising the state. The judiciary is used to criminalise legitimate human rights activities by bringing trumped-up charges against defenders aimed to discredit them and their organisations and prevent them from continuing playing their public role.
The conditions in detention are particularly difficult for human rights defenders. According to Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture, the access to a doctor and legal aid to human rights defenders as detainees is not guaranteed as the doctor or lawyer of a human rights defender shall require a special grant of access, which constitutes an exception to the Code of Criminal Procedure.