1903 – Roger Casement completes report about abuses in Belgian Congo.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

‘Failure to meet the rubber collection quotas was punishable by death. Meanwhile, the Force Publique were required to provide the hand of their victims as proof when they had shot and killed someone, as it was believed that they would otherwise use the munitions (imported from Europe at considerable cost) for hunting. As a consequence, the rubber quotas were in part paid off in chopped-off hands.’

The Congo Free State was a large state in Central Africa, which was in personal union with the Kingdom of Belgium under Leopold II. Leopold was able to procure the region by partaking in humanitarian and philanthropic work and would not tax trade. Via the International Association of the Congo he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo basin. On 29 May 1885, the king named his new colony the Congo Free State. The state would eventually include an area about…

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