Human rights activists criticize bribery, fraud and torture in the Republic of the Congo

A rights group in Congo-Brazzaville on Wednesday accused the government of the central African country of hundreds of abuses last year, from torture to electoral fraud.

A report from the Development Action Center (CAD) states that 572 human rights violations were documented in 2022.

Incidents of torture “remain commonplace,” the report said, citing several incidents in which security forces arrested suspects and beat them with hammers, sometimes to death.

Parliamentary elections held in July were also “the most regrettable in the country’s electoral history” and were marked by “massive fraud,” CAD said.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s party won the election with a landslide.

Some of his Labor Party candidates won 100 percent of the vote in their constituencies, according to the NGO.

Nguesso was President of the Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, for almost 40 years.

CAD also drew attention to a case this year in which an opposition figure from neighboring Gabon was found carrying the equivalent of about $1.9 million in local currency.

The rights group said the scandal points to “the complicity of the country’s highest authorities.”

The Republic of the Congo ranks 164th out of 180 in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by the NGO Transparency International.

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