DRC: 66 death sentences in the ADF trials, since 2016

13 July 2018 :

21 January 2018: the Congolese military justice announced that it had condemned to death 66 persons since the opening in August 2016 of a mega-trial for massacres of civilians attributed to the ADF militia in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Started on 20 August 2016, the trial ended on 21 January 2018 with eight final death sentences, which should not be enforced because the DRC declared a moratorium on capital punishment 15 years ago. At the end of 238 hearings, over 17 months since August 20, 2016  "There were 134 convictions and 45 acquittals, 66 sentenced to death, and 68 sentenced to penalties ranging from two to twenty years in prison" , told AFP the registry of the Operational Military Court of North Kivu in Beni.
Judgments of this exceptional court are not subject to appeal.
Convicted persons belong to the Ugandan Muslim militia of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) or are "their collaborators", explained to AFP the military prosecutor, General Timothy Mukuntu.
They are accused of the deaths of about 700 civilians in massacres attributed by the authorities to ADF in the territory of Beni between 2014 and 2016.
Convicts were convicted of  "terrorism ",  "war crime by murder," participation in a insurrectional movement "in this long court trial," recalls Me John Mugisha, a defense attorney.
During the trial, in May 2017, the United Nations Joint Office on Human Rights (UNJHRO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had expressed its concern about the high rate of death sentences in this trial.
Present in the eastern DRC since 1995, the ADF are opposed to the regime of President Ugandan Yoweri Museveni. Folded in the forest, without communicating with the outside, the ADF are also accused of the death of 14 blue helmets in early December, in Beni. (Source: 22/1/2018)


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