This morning the Netherlands’ state attorney informed us that the deportation and transfer of the Congolese ICC-witnesses to the Congolese border-authorities on 7 July 2014 was successful. Upon their arrival, our clients were immediately taken into custody and are now staying at an location unknown to us.

We share the deep concerns expressed Amnesty international (here) and Human Rights Watch (here and here) about the treatment that awaits our clients. Above all, the fact that they were kept in detention in the DRC for six years without any charges prior to their arrival in the Netherlands, continues to be cause for very serious concern, especially now that they have been forcibly returned to the DRC.

We will pursue the case internationally and will hold the Netherlands and the ICC accountable for problems that may arise in the future. Where necessary, we will seek international legal scrutiny of any irregularities and human rights violations that may occur. For this purpose we will keep in close contact with local lawyers in the DRC, and with our clients' ICC-appointed lawyer.

For any queries, please contact lawyers Flip Schüller, Marieke van Eik or Göran Sluiter.


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Prakken d'Oliveira, formerly known as Böhler, is a law firm with expertise and experience in asylum and immigration law, European law, administrative law, international criminal law and human rights. Our lawyers provide advice and conduct procedures before the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD), the District- and Appeals courts, the Administrative Law Division of the Dutch Council of State, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), the Human Rights Treaty Bodies of the United Nations (UN), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and other international tribunals.