FIACAT expresses its support of the Working Group on enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and welcomes the completed work. We regret that the report could only appear in English because this disrupts its diffusion in civil society and impedes the Working Group’s completion of its mandate.
FIACAT and ACAT Congo thank the Working Group for its mission report following its visit to the Republic of the Congo in September 2011. Our associations thank the Republic of the Congo for the invitation and for its cooperation during the preparation for, and the course of, the mission.
Our organizations greet the recommendations developed by authorities following this visit and notably the need for further investigations, the integration of an autonomous crime of enforced disappearance into the penal code, and a ban on secret detention as well as detention in non-official places.
1. ON THE NECESSITY OF THE INTEGRATION OF AN AUTONOMOUS CRIME OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE INTO THE PENAL CODE
Le Congolese penal code doesn’t contain at this time independent incrimination of enforced disappearance, independent from its qualification as a crime against humanity. FIACAT therefore invites the authorities of the Congo to integrate an autonomous incrimination of enforced disappearances into their penal code. This incrimination should contain a precise definition of the elements which constitute this crime. FIACAT regrets that the punishment for this offense as a crime against humanity is the death penalty. Even though the moratorium has been maintained in the Congo since 1982, abolition de jure would be preferable.
FIACAT and ACAT Congo worry that the Revision Committee of the penal code and the criminal procedure code has been inactive since 2008. It is a primary objective that consequent means be allocated to them and that a deadline be imposed on them for the publication of these codes.
2. ON THE PREVENTION OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES
The Congolese legislation on the matter of criminal procedure seems to incorporate the necessary guarantees.
Yet, access of the United Nations human rights body to the places of detention is still limited as a detailed demand has to be addressed to the General Direction of the penitentiary administration before each visit. Intervention of human rights defenders or of certain families from political classes is often necessary for a doctor or lawyer to access a detained person, in violation of the processes in the criminal procedure code.
Human Rights Session
Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the Working Group on enforced disappearances
Oral statement delivered by the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture- FIACAT, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status