Following DR Congo murder trial, UN calls for death penalty moratorium to remain |

“We reiterate the Secretary-General’s opposition to the use of the death penalty in all cases,” Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a statement. one note for reporters.

On Saturday, a Congolese military court sentenced 51 people to death for the killing of Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp, a former member of the UN Expert Group on the DRC.

Ms. Catalán, a Swede, and Mr. Sharp, an American, are investigating reports of mass atrocities in the volatile Kasai region surrounding fighting between Government forces and armed militias, when they were kidnapped on March 12, 2017.

Their bodies were found by UN peacekeepers two weeks later outside the city of Kananga.

Capable of protesting

The United Nations took note of the ruling, which led to the convictions of Colonel Jean de Dieu Mambweni, Thomas Nkashama, Jean Bosco Mukanda, and others linked to them.

“We understand that these decisions are subject to appeal,” Mr. Haq said.

The military prosecutor general is also investigating other suspects involved in the killing of the two experts and the fate of their four Congolese companions, he added.

Several other defendants were found guilty on all counts and sentenced to death.

Maintain the moratorium

“Noting that there is in fact a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the DRC, we urge the DRC authorities to maintain the moratorium on the use of the death penalty and consider abolishing it,” said Mr. Haq. this penalty in the law.

The UN has been assisting Congolese authorities in their investigation into the killing of two experts since 2017 through the DRC Tracing Mechanism.

The Foundation will continue to assist, as appropriate, the Military Prosecutor General in any appeal to the ruling.

Mr. Haq said the Secretary-General is committed to continuing to assist the Congolese authorities in their pursuit of justice for the two experts, as well as their four companions.

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