Prisoners of conscience
Paul Marie Mpouele, a National Assembly candidate and Vice-President of the Congolese People’s Party (Parti du peuple congolais, PPC), was arrested on 17 April after the authorities accused him of insulting the President and of threatening him with death. The accusation was related to a petition Paul Marie Mpuele had initiated calling for the resignation of President Sassou-N’Guesso in connection with the munitions explosions in March. He was first detained by the DGST before being transferred to Brazzaville central prison. He was granted provisional release in September; no formal charges had been brought against him by the end of the year. He was prevented from travelling abroad or carrying out any political activities.
- Two lawyers representing Colonel Marcel Ntsourou and others arrested in connection with the March munitions explosions were arrested on 9 April. Ambroise Hervé Malonga and Gabriel Hombessa had tried to hold a press conference to protest against being denied access to their clients and were accused of endangering the security of the state by attempting to hold it at Marcel Ntsourou’s home, situated in a military barracks. Ambroise Hervé Malonga was also accused of attempting to practise as a defence lawyer without a licence. Earlier, the lawyers had been prevented from holding the press conference at a hotel. Gabriel Hombessa was released in July and Ambroise Hervé Malonga in August.