Marie-Thérèse Nlandu Mpolo-Nene – Lawyer

Marie-Thérèse Nlandu Mpolo-Nene, a lawyer at the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Supreme Court of Justice and leader of the Parti pour la Paix au Congo (Congo-Pax) political party, was arrested in the capital, Kinshasa, on 21 November 2007. According to Amnesty International, she is being detained at Kinshasa’s central prison, the Centre Penitentiare et de Réeducation de

Kinshasa (CPRK) along with six male associates who have also been detained.

Marie-Thérèse Nlandu had run for election to the presidency, but was defeated in the first round last July. She then switched her party’s allegiance to candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba, the former vice-president who was running against President Joseph Kabila. Bemba was defeated in the second round, and mounted a legal challenge, alleging fraud, with Marie-Thérèse Nlandu representing him.

Marie-Thérèse Nlandu was charged with organizing an insurrectionary movement and illegal possession of firearms. Her trial began before a military tribunal on 22 December 2007. Amnesty International considers the prosecution to be politically motivated and has voiced concern that some of the prosecution evisence may have been obtained through torture or ill-treatment. Furthermore, the trial of civilians by a military court is a violation of international fair trial standards and is forbidden under the DRC’s 2006 Constitution.

The latest available information indicates that Mrs. Nlandu’s health is deteriorating. She has been suffering from a pulmonary infection, malaria and high blood pressure. She remains in the high-security prison while the tribunal has not sat since the end of January 2007. There is concern she may face the death penalty.


Letter by Darlene Kavka sent on November 29, 2006