Congolese (DRC) state security forces have killed an estimated 500 people and detained about 1,000 more, many of whom have been tortured, in the two years since elections that were meant to bring democracy, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Nov. 25. The brutal repression against perceived opponents began during the 2006 elections that carried President Joseph Kabila to power, and has continued to the present. The 96-page report documents the Kabila government’s use of violence and intimidation to eliminate political opponents. “‘We Will Crush You’: The Restriction of Political Space in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” documents the Kabila government’s use of violence and intimidation to eliminate political opponents. HRW found that Kabila himself set the tone and direction by giving orders to “crush” or “neutralize” the “enemies of democracy,” implying it was acceptable to use unlawful force against them.
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