- Child Concern
- Case COD 270401.3.CC
- Follow-up to Case COD 270401.CC
Torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Committee of Human Rights Observers (Comité des
observateurs des droits de l'homme - CODHO), a member of the OMCT network, that on 26 September 2001 Babuya
Oleko, one of the child soldiers sentenced to death by order of the Military
Court (COM) in Boende, died of tuberculosis resulting from the poor conditions under which he was detained.
Babuya Oleko arrived at the Kinshasa central prison on 20 July
2001 in a precarious state of health. His condition deteriorated rapidly through lack of adequate food and medication. Initially,
and in spite of numerous requests, the director of the prison would not allow local NGOs to visit the child and care for him. When
authorisation was finally granted it was already too late to save him.
Brief summary of the situation
According to information received, Babuya Oleko, a child soldier
born on 3 May 1984, was arrested on 15 November 2000 and sentenced to death for murder on 10 January 2001. He was
incarcerated in Pavilion 2 in Kinshasa prison, which was reserved for adults sentenced to death. Here he was incarcerated with
Nanasi Kisala, another child sentenced to death (see urgent appeals COD 270401.1.CC and COD 270401.2.CC)
OMCT would like to recall that according to Article 37 paragraph
a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a party, "neither capital
punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen
years of age".
OMCT would also like to recall that according to Article 37
paragraph c) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, "every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect
for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age".
Finally, OMCT emphasises that according to Rule 49 of the
United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty "every juvenile shall receive adequate medical care,
both preventive and remedial". Furthermore, Article 37 of these same Rules specifies that "every detention facility shall ensure that
every juvenile receives food that is suitably prepared and presented at normal meal times and of a quality and quantity to
satisfy the standards of dietetics, hygiene and health (...)"