UPR-submission Democratic Republic of the Congo
8 oktober 2018

UPR-submission Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

On 4 October 2018, Lawyers for Lawyers and Défense de la Défense jointly submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This review will take place in May 2019.

In the report, Lawyers for Lawyers and Défense de la Défense highlighted that the Congolese authorities do not always uphold the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession in practice, as set out in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. Lawyers are subjected to threats, intimidation and improper interference or attempts to put pressure on them by members of law enforcement agencies (specifically the ‘Agence Nationale de Renseignement’, ANR – or secret service), the military and even the judiciary. Especially lawyers who are involved in politically sensitive cases endure difficulties in carrying out their professional activities without undue intervention. These threats and intimidations are sometimes also aimed at the lawyers’ families.

Lawyers for Lawyers and Défense de la Défense furthermore expressed concerns about the independence of the Congolese Bar Organizations, their ability to provide adequate protection and the inappropriate way disciplinary measures are being used to harass lawyers. Attention was also paid to the shrinking space for freedom of expression of lawyers in relation to their work.

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