UPR Session 33
The Democratic Republic of Congo
Review Date: 7 May 2019
State-imposed internet shutdowns were used extensively during the 2019 elections to limit freedom of opinion and expression.
Despite freedom of expression being constitutionally protected, the media environment in the DRC is subject to intense government censorship and surveillance. Journalists are frequently targeted with threats, physical attacks and arbitrary arrest.
The government imposes internet shutdowns to control the flow of information. Online media endured extensive restrictions before the January 2019 elections. Multiple state-directed shutdowns have been documented since December 2011, and their increasing frequency poses a grave threat to freedom of expression and access to information in the DRC.
The Congolese government supported more than 80% of the 395 recommendations they received during their 1st and 2nd cycle UPR sessions.
The number of recommendations made to the DRC during the 1st and 2nd cycles that explicitly address freedom of expression online or digital rights.
The number of recommendations made to the DRC during the 1st and 2nd cycles that implicitly address freedom of expression online or digital rights.
Accelerate the adoption of the new ‘Law on Telecommunications and ICT’ under legislative review, thereby strengthening citizens’ rights to development and privacy
Guarantee citizens’ rights to free expression and free assembly both online and offline, and cease the practice of disrupting or limiting citizens’ access to the internet
Urgently establish a clear, comprehensive and up-to-date law on privacy and data protection, developed in accordance with international legal obligations
Invest in ICT infrastructure development and skills education, so as to support citizens’ rights to free expression and assembly, and further economic and social development