#OnNeVousObliePas# campaign launched for the release of 100 political prisoners

Association

On 20th October, a platform of NGOs, on the initiative of Observatoire congolais des droits de l'hommelaunched the campaign "Political prisoners, we will not forget you". The authorities arbitrarily detained about 100 political prisoners, especially around the constitutional referendum of 25th October 2015 and the presidential election of 2016, including two former candidates for the presidential election - Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko and André Okombi. They were officially prosecuted for "undermining the internal security of the state". Within the campaign, the NGO-initiated platform will publish a poster of a political prisoner every Friday until 16th March 2018. 

At a press conference on 11th October, Association pour les droits de l’homme et l’univers carcéral (ADHUC) expressed their concerns over the continued arbitrary detention of Youlou Nzonzi Auguste and Mahoumi Pierre - previous members of the executive bureau of the opposition party Mouvement Congolais pour la Démocratie et le Développement Intégral (Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development), despite the release order signed by the public prosecutor. In reference to the case, Loamba Moké, president of ADHUC, reminded the authorities that Congo is a signatory of several international human rights instruments, including the ICCPR and the African Charter on People's and Human Rights, and that keeping a person in prison without trial is "a flagrant violation of individual freedom".

Peaceful Assembly

On 3rd October, police prevented a protest of opposition and civil society members in Brazzaville that had been organised to demand transparency in the negotiations between the IMF and the Congolese government. The police units barricaded and occupied Place de Brazzaville, where the protest was supposed to take place. Police vehicles prevented Blanchard Oba, opposition leader of Initiative pour le démocratie congolaise, from leaving his hotel. Pensioners and students had also planned to march over the payment of nine months of pensions and scholarships, and to ask the IMF to maintain their social benefits.