News / Africa

Jailed DRC Opposition Leader Said to Be Seriously Ill

DRC opposition political leader Etienne Tshisekedi (Center R) and opposition leader Diomi Ndongala (Center L) are seen at a mass for peace at the Notre Dame church if Kinshasa in this June 22, 2012, file photo.DRC opposition political leader Etienne Tshisekedi (Center R) and opposition leader Diomi Ndongala (Center L) are seen at a mass for peace at the Notre Dame church if Kinshasa in this June 22, 2012, file photo.
x
DRC opposition political leader Etienne Tshisekedi (Center R) and opposition leader Diomi Ndongala (Center L) are seen at a mass for peace at the Notre Dame church if Kinshasa in this June 22, 2012, file photo.
DRC opposition political leader Etienne Tshisekedi (Center R) and opposition leader Diomi Ndongala (Center L) are seen at a mass for peace at the Notre Dame church if Kinshasa in this June 22, 2012, file photo.
Nick Long
A leading opposition politician in the Democratic Republic of Congo is seriously ill in prison, his wife says, and not receiving the treatment he needs. Human rights organizations and a worldwide lawmakers union have called for the release of Diomi Ndongala but his wife Patrizia says the authorities are not listening.
 
Last year Diomi Ndongala was the architect of a plan to unite opposition parties behind a common program. On the day this program was due to be signed he disappeared and authorities said he had fled justice.

The previous day they had issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of raping a minor.

Three months later he was found by the side of a road at midnight, in poor health and needing surgery. He told media he had been kept in a secret jail. This year he was arrested in April on the same charge, for which he has never been tried, and a few days later another charge was added, of plotting to assassinate President Joseph Kabila.

He is now in Kinshasa’s central prison where his wife Patrizia says his health has quickly deteriorated in the past three weeks.

She said he is practically unable to move, has high fevers and is vomiting frequently and the only treatments he is receiving are aspirin, anti-fever injections and painkillers, in excessive doses.

Irregularities alleged

Patrizia said there are several irregularities about his arrest and detention.

The most serious, she said, is that the Supreme Court has ruled three times that Ndongala should be kept under surveillance at his home, and yet the state prosecutor is refusing to apply the ruling.

She said the prison doctor has said he should be transferred to a hospital, and the prison director has said Ndongala is not his responsibility as he is supposed to be under house arrest.

Patrizia Diomi added that a few weeks ago a delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a worldwide federation of lawmakers, visited the DRC state prosecutor, to ask why Ndongala had not been transferred from prison but he could give no explanation.

In reality, Patrizia Diomi said, this is not a judicial matter, it is all about politics.

The Congolese human rights organization Voice of the Voiceless said last year that the man who claimed to be the father of the girl Ndongala allegedly raped was not in fact her father and had recently been convicted for blackmail.

The African Association for the Defense of Human Rights has described the accusations against Ndongala as relentless persecution. And an all-party group of British lawmakers has described the charges against him as a political ploy to intimidate the opposition.

The state prosecutor, Kabange Numbi, told U.N. Radio Okapi in Congo that the best place to keep Diomi Ndongala under surveillance is the central prison.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid