Torture, a common practice in East DRC
In Eastern DRC, torture is used as a widespread practice by the armed forces and particularly by agents of the National Intervention Legion (LENI), a specialist intervention unit of the Congolese National Police. From 2014 to 2015, local NGOs gathered numerous personal accounts from the population about cases of abuse, arbitrary detention and torture committed by LENI agents. Despite the actions taken at the national level, there is still a total impunity for crimes like these, and the violence continues.
In 2015, TRIAL International represented five victims of such crimes before the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. In every case, the victim was arrested without a warrant, placed in detention and subjected to acts of torture and other forms of degrading treatment. Incarcerated under deplorable conditions, deprived of their right to have access to a lawyer and to be heard by a competent authority, these victims were often placed in solitary confinement, out of sight. The aim of these acts was mostly to extort money from the victims.
As of today, the five victims have been released, although one of them was arrested again last November. By reporting such violence before an international body, the victims hope to put an end to the impunity that reigns in the DRC for crimes committed by the armed forces.