Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa and Others v. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Guarantees of Non-Repetition | Economic/Social/Cultural Rights | Right to Know the Truth | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Reparations

Themes: Memory and Reparations | Persons and Groups Affected | Justice and Truth

The Commission found that an enforced disappearance gives rise to a violation of the right to life where a long time has elapsed since the incident and the whereabouts of the victim remain unknown. The Commission also found that the burial of the remains of disappeared victims in mass graves amount to a violation of the right to cultural development because the practice undermines African values and traditions requiring the construction of graves to allow relatives to mourn and perform cultural practices understood as essential to put to rest the souls of the deceased.

Judgment Date

June 18, 2016

Country

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Judicial Body

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Articles violated

Article 4 [ACHPR], Article 1 [ACHPR], Article 22 [ACHPR]

Facts of the Case

The complaints related to enforced disappearances committed in Kilwa, DRC, on 15 October 2004 during a governmental offensive aimed at dislodging the insurgent Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Katanga. The complainants alleged, inter alia, that two disappeared victims, Ulimwengu Lukumani and Ulimwengu Nombele, were among those executed during the offensive.

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