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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                        

Republic of the Congo (ROC)

In July 2018, 13 young men were killed after being detained at a Brazzaville police station. The Congolese Observatory of Human Rights said the youths were “tortured and executed,” and condemned the ensuing police investigation as grossly inadequate.

[Freedom House Country Report, 2020]

Description: Description: Congo-ROC

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Republic of the Congo (ROC).  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: ROC

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 8 July 2021]


Physical Conditions: As of September the Brazzaville Prison, built in 1943 to accommodate 150 inmates, held more than five times its designed capacity, including women and minors. The Pointe-Noire Prison, built in 1934 to hold 75 inmates, held more than six times its designed capacity. In addition to these official prisons, the government’s intelligence and security services operated detention centers and security prisons that were inaccessible for inspection.


There were reports authorities arrested detainees secretly and without judicial authorization and sometimes detained suspects incommunicado or put them under de facto house arrest. Police at times held persons for six months or longer before filing charges. Observers attributed most administrative delays to lack of staff in the Ministry of Justice and the court system. Family members sometimes received prompt access to detainees but often only after payment of bribes. The law requires authorities to provide lawyers at government expense to indigent detainees facing criminal charges, but this usually did not occur.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 14 May 2020]


In July 2018, 13 young men were killed after being detained at a Brazzaville police station. The Congolese Observatory of Human Rights said the youths were “tortured and executed,” and condemned the ensuing police investigation as grossly inadequate.

Torture and arbitrary detentions of dozens of people put freedom of expression under severe strain

Amnesty International, 21 March 2018

[accessed 25 March 2018]

Dozens of activists and opposition members are languishing in prisons in Congo Brazzaville, some for almost three years, simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression, while the international community maintains a silence on the human rights situation in the country, Amnesty International and four organizations said today.

The organizations call on the authorities to release all those arbitrarily arrested and open an investigation into allegations of torture.

"The Congolese authorities have not only resorted to arbitrarily arresting opposition members and activists, they have often subjected them to torture too. Some of the victims continue to bear the scars of such inhuman and degrading treatments,” said Balkissa Idé Siddo, Amnesty International Central Africa researcher.

CONGO: Torture commonplace in prisons - report

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Brazzaville, 6 November 2012

[accessed 19 Jan 2014]

Torture has become routine in prisons and police stations in the Republic of Congo, according to a 2 November report by the Congolese Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH).

"Torture remains a sad reality in Congo. Several cases were followed by murder. Numerous cases of torture are not reported for various reasons, such as fear of reprisals and lack of knowledge of the mechanisms of protection," said OCDH executive director Roch Euloge Nzobo.

"The majority of acts of torture are committed in official places of detention, especially in prisons, local penitentiaries, police stations, gendarmerie brigades, as well as outside prisons. They occur at the time of arrest, during custody and in detention," he said.

ROUTINE AND COMMONPLACE - "Torture is systematic everywhere. It is becoming routine and commonplace. The perpetrators of torture enjoy impunity," said Nzobo, urging the government "to establish an oversight committee, made up of members of civil society and the government, to undertake ad hoc inspections of detention centres".


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015


Members of the security forces tortured or otherwise ill-treated detainees with impunity, in some cases resulting in deaths. The judiciary failed to respond to complaints by relatives of detainees who died in custody in previous years.

Anicet Elion Kouvandila died on 2 June after he was detained for eight days and severely beaten at Lumumba police station in the capital, Brazzaville. Relatives found his body at a mortuary, registered under a different name.

A pregnant woman, Blanche Kongo, was arrested on 17 October with her child by police seeking her husband regarding an alleged theft. Blanche Kongo was severely beaten at Mbota police station and suffered a miscarriage.

On 28 August, an army colonel severely beat Jean Karat Koulounkoulou and Rock Inzonzi in a land dispute. The colonel buried the men up to their necks, threatening to bury them alive. A local government official and police officers stopped the ill-treatment but no action was taken against the colonel.


A delegation of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances visited the Republic of Congo from 24 September to 3 October to gather information on efforts to investigate and prevent enforced disappearances. Discussions focused on the 1999 disappearance of some 350 refugees returning from the DRC, and the 2005 trial of 16 security and government officials which failed to establish individual criminal responsibility. The UN Working Group made several recommendations to the government, including enactment of a law criminalizing enforced disappearances.


For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website +torture&ref=&year=&lang=en&adv=1&sort=relevance

[accessed 25 December 2018]

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Human Rights Reports » 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

[accessed 22 January 2013]

[accessed 3 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Although the constitution and law prohibit such actions, security forces frequently used beatings to coerce confessions or to punish detainees. During the year there were reports that abuses continued in the jail and prison systems.

During the year there were reports by Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that female detainees were raped, and that members of the security forces beat citizens.

There was no reported action in the August 2005 case of a police officer who reportedly beat a man for arguing with him.

During the year unorganized mobs often assisted property owners in beating and sometimes killing suspected thieves in the southern sector of Brazzaville (see section 1.a.).

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 6   Civil Liberties: 5   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 22 January 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 11 May 2020]

Congo’s weak judiciary is subject to corruption and political influence. Members of the country’s poorly coordinated security forces act with impunity in committing human rights abuses, and there have been reports of suspects dying during apprehension or in custody. Prison conditions are life threatening. Women and men, as well as juveniles and adults, are incarcerated together, and rape is common.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Republic of the Congo (ROC)",, [accessed <date>]