Urgent Action: Detained Opposition Member Hospitalised (Congo: UA 28/17)

Urgent Action
January 30, 2017
Congolese political opposition member, Modeste Boukadia, has been hospitalised for the third time as a result of injuries he sustained during a severe beating by prison guards on 15 November 2016 while in prison. There has been no investigation into the incident. He has been at central prison of Pointe Noire for more than a year. 
Modeste Boukadia was on 24 January admitted at Clinic Guenin for the third time as a result of injuries he sustained when he was severely beaten by prison guards at the central prison of Pointe Noire on 15 November 2016. The beating resulted in Modeste Boukadia having two broken lumbar vertebrae, high blood pressure and a heart condition and he was first admitted at the Clinic Guenin, in Pointe Noire on the recommendation of a medical doctor of the French Consulate.
Modeste Boukadia, president of the opposition party, Cercle des Démocrates et Républicains du Congo (Congolese Circle of Democrats and Republicans – CDRC), was arrested by the police on 15 January 2016. His arrest upon arrival at Maya Maya International Airport in Brazzaville was in connection with a judgment passed against him in absentia by the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Pointe Noire in April 2014 for his participation in planning a peaceful demonstration. He was sentenced in absentia to 30 years of hard labour.
According to article 316 of Congo’s Criminal Procedure Code, if a person who is sentenced in absentia is arrested then the sentence is nullified and in this case Modeste Boukadia would have to be tried again. Following six months pre-trial detention and after being denied bail once before, Modeste Boukadia was granted bail and was to be placed under house arrest by the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Pointe Noire on 20 June 2016. This decision was appealed against by the Public Prosecution at the Supreme Court. However, the appeal was submitted on 29 September 2016, contrary to the 10 days timeline to submit an appeal under Congolese law. Modeste Boukadia has to remain in prison until the court delivers a final decision on the appeal.  
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the Congolese authorities to promptly, thoroughly, impartially and transparently investigate the attack against Modeste Boukadia and to bring those suspected to be responsible to justice under fair trials without recourse to the death penalty;
  • Calling on them to release Modeste Boukadia immediately, unless he is to be charged with a recognizable offence, in line with international law and standards;  
  • Urging them to provide effective protection to Modeste Boukadia while in detention and ensure that he has access to adequate medical treatment he may require;
  • Urging them to ensure that, pending his release, he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
  • Urging the authorities to end all forms of intimidation and harassment against political opposition members and human rights defenders in Congo, including through the misuse of the criminal justice system.
Contact these two officials by 13 March, 2017:
President of the Republic
Denis Sassou Nguesso
Palais du Peuple, Quartier Plateau
Brazzaville – Congo
Salutation: Your Excellency
H. E. Ambassador Serge Mombouli
Embassy of the Republic of Congo
1720 16th Street, NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: (202) 726-5500  I  Fax: (202) 726-1860
Salutation: Your Excellency
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