A leading human rights group says Congolese state security forces have
killed an estimated 500 people who were considered opponents of the
Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday
that President Joseph Kabila ordered his security forces to "crush" or
"neutralize" his political enemies.
The report says Mr. Kabila's
security forces have also arrested some 1,000 perceived
political opponents in the last two years. It says government agents
regularly whip detainees and keep them in chains for weeks on end,
sometimes forcing them to sign trumped-up confessions.
says agents dump dead bodies in the Congo River, or bury them in mass
graves. It says Kabila's government has blocked international groups
from investigating its abuses.
There was no immediate reaction to the report from DRC officials.
report notes that the international community has kept quiet about
human rights abuses in the DRC and has instead focused on the
government's ongoing struggle with rebels in the country's east.
of those arrested or killed were followers of defeated presidential
candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba or supporters of the political group Bundu
Journalists who expose the government's abuses have
been threatened, and the government has shut down several opposition
radio and television stations.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.