Congolese police, often accused of torture and ill-treatment, will receive a three-year training programme funded by five million euros ($5.4 million) from the European Union, officials said Tuesday.
The programme will help “police forces to better manage people in custody”, said Congo-Brazzaville’s Interior Minister Raymond Zephyrin Mboulou, who launched the project.
“The main objective is to support the Congolese government in promoting respect for human rights among police forces, by preventing all forms of torture,” said Herve Le Pennec, the project’s lead expert.
“Priority will be given to improving day-to-day police work and strengthening the role of the police in the criminal justice system, in order to improve citizens’ access to justice”, he added.
In 2018, at least 13 young people were found dead as a result of torture in the police station in the Mpila district of Brazzaville.
Six other people died at the capital’s Central Police Station in similar conditions in 2020, according to the Development Actions Centre (CAD) rights group.
“Torture is a sad reality in Congo. The police and law enforcement agencies are not sufficiently professional, so they need to be trained,” Joseph Likibi, national coordinator of children’s charity REIPER, told AFP.