A new Constitution of the Republic of the Congo was adopted in 2015. According to Article 8 of the Constitution:
The human person is sacred and has the right to life.
The State has the obligation to respect it and to protect it.
Each citizen has the right to the full development of his person within respect for the rights of others, of the public order, of ethics and of morals.
Article 11 stipulates that all acts of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is prohibited.
Under Article 27, the State "recognizes and guarantees, within the conditions established by law," the freedom of assembly and of demonstration.
The 2015 Constitution defines the Public Force as comprising the National Police, the National Gendarmerie, and the Congolese Armed Forces.Art. 204, 2015 Constitution of Congo.Article 205 states that the Public Force is "subject to the laws and regulations of the Republic" and "is subordinated to civil authority". According to Article 206:
The law establishes the missions, determines the organization and the functioning as well as the special status of the personnel of the Police, of the Gendarmerie and the Congolese Armed Forces.
|1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)||State Party|
|ICCPR Optional Protocol 1||State Party|
|1984 Convention against Torture (CAT)||State Party|
|Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints||No|
|CAT Optional Protocol 1||Signatory|
|1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court||State Party|
|1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights||State Party|
|1998 Protocol to the African Charter on the African Court||State Party|
|Article 34(6) declaration regarding individual petitions||No|
|Malabo Protocol on Amendments to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights||Signatory|
Police Use of Force
Law enforcement in Congo is provided primarily by the National Police and the National Gendermerie. The use of force is not regulated by Law 6 of 2011 on the National Police. On 5 April 2018, the Council of Ministers adopted two draft Decrees on discipline in the Public Force.
There is no independent civilian police oversight body in Congo, although the National Human Rights Commission could hear complaints about the Congolese Police and gendarmerie. The Public Prosecutor may bring criminal charges against law enforcement officials for criminal offences.
Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies
In its 2015 Concluding Observations on Congo, the Committee against Torture expressed its deep concern
about the numerous allegations of acts of torture and ill-treatment committed in most of the country’s places of detention, in particular in police stations, at the Directorate-General of National Security (DGST) and in gendarmeries. These acts are allegedly committed for the purpose of obtaining a confession by, in particular, law enforcement officials in the course of interrogations during police custody and preliminary investigations
The Committee was also concerned "at reports of impunity in cases of enforced disappearance, torture or ill-treatment, including brutality and excessive use of force during police operations".
Congo has ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, allowing the African Court to hear cases alleging a violation of the Charter by the state.