8 October 2010 –The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today called on the Government to launch a “transparent and impartial” investigation into the death of a man detained in a military camp for throwing stones at President Joseph Kabila’s motorcade.
Armand Tungulu Mudiandambu was arrested on 29 September and died in a cell in a military camp in Kinshasa, the capital, during the night of 1-2 October, the mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, said a communiqué.
“MONUSCO solemnly reminds the Congolese authorities of the obligations incumbent upon them by virtue of national law and their international obligations concerning the deprivation of liberty,” it stressed.
“These involve, among other things, the right of everybody to be detained in a place under the control of a judicial authority, the right to immediate contact with family or a lawyer, and right to physical integrity as well as the preservation of dignity, whatever the motive or the gravity of the imputed deeds…
“The circumstances of his death must be clarified through a transparent and impartial investigation which MONUSCO categorically calls for.”
MONUSCO’s mandate includes supporting efforts to fight impunity and ensure the protection of civilians from violation of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Under various names, the mission, with nearly 20,000 uniformed personnel on the ground, has since 1999 overseen the vast country’s emergence from years of civil war and factional chaos, culminating most notably in 2006 with the first democratic elections in over four decades. But fighting has continued in the east, where the bulk of UN forces are deployed, and allegations of human rights abuses by all sides are frequent in various parts of the country.
UN News service (www.un.org/news)