The Congolese newspaper Emmanuel, in his issue 239 published Tuesday, November 22, 2016, page 5, alerted the international opinion with its alarming tittle: Attempted murder of Modeste BOUKADIA in Pointe-Noire. The Consulate of France intervened and a complaint was filed in Paris in France. The Director of the Pointe-Noire prison [named Pierre Pongui] defended himself explaining he followed the orders of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. MABIALA, [who is in charge of monitoring state prisons]
A bit of context
Mr Modeste Boukadia is a political prisoner in the Republic of Congo. Jailed in January 2016 for having voiced his opinion he never faced a trial during his 11 months long detention. 14 other members of his party were jailed in August 2013 and faced trial 6 months later in 2014. The UN Working Groups on Arbitrary Detentions condemned the arrest as politically motivated and ordered the release of these political prisoners. The Republic of Congo has so far refused to free these political prisoners. Some were condemned to 2 years’ prison sentence but are still held in jail, although their prison sentence has been served.
Below is a copy of the press article and a grim reminder of the worrying context in this land of no rights that the Congo has become. A land where torture of prisoners has been denounced by human rights organisation OCDH
Below a translation of the article denouncing the murder attempt of Mr Modeste Boukadia
While national and international opinion is still shocked to have discovered on the internet the atrocious images of the torture suffered by Mr. Augustin Kalla Kalla, a close collaborator of Mr. André Okombi Salissa of CADD, last week another drama of this kind has almost failed to take place in the Pointe-Noire prison, involving Mr Modeste Boukadia, the president of political party Circle of Democrats and Republican of the Congo (CDRC), where Mr Boukadia has been detained since his arrival at Maya Maya Airport In Brazzaville, on 15 January 2016.
Indeed, last November 15th at exactly 12:45 minutes, while Mr. Boukadia was greeting the officers of the surveillance brigade at the Pointe-Noire prison, the director of the prison [editorial note : Pierre Pongui] whiles he was having a beer at the prison buffet asked Mr Boukadia to follow him in his office. And in the office Mr. BOUKADIA was surprised to find that the director wanted to handcuff him.
“A syringe filled with air…”
“Is there a problem?”, asked Mr. Boukadia to his supervisor, without getting any response. And next to the director’s office, there was a syringe that did not contain any pharmaceuticals but filled up with air, and ready to be injected on someone.
According to the medical ethics taught, [editiorial note” word not clear] … nurses I practiced in our dispensary, an empty syringe, not filled with medical product but only air is injected into the human body, immediately causes an interruption of the blood circulation in the human body. And inevitably results in stroke (cerebral vascular accident) in the brain, that is, sudden death.
Knowing this theory certainly, Mr. Boukadia then struggled like a lion and he called “for help.” On arriving at the scene, the five masters (prison guards) who were police officers, listened only to the version of the story told by the director of the prison, a version according to which Mr. Boukadia threatened him. And Mr. Boukadia was handcuffed by the policemen, copiously “beaten like a recalcitrant child,” and then locked up in the prison for two hours before being taken back to his cell in febrile condition.
“And I was appointed by Minister Mabiala and I acted like him. In the Congo there are no political prisoners, “pointed out and the Director of the Pointe-Noire prison.
Then, the director of the Pointe-Noire Detention Center [N.D.L.R. : Pierre Pongui] accused Boukadia of being in a secret relationship with Pastor Ntumi [Note: the Pastor Ntumi, of his real name Bintsamou, is a militia leader who fought against Mr Sassou Nguesso’s militia during Mr Sassou’s 1997 coup which put an end to democratic rule] who would sow the mess in the pool against the reigning power of Brazzaville. “As long as I am there (at the prison), you will regret the fact of being there,” he added, addressing disdainfully to Mr. Boukadia who had just been taken back to his cell.
However, according to our informant, the director of the prison still dared to ask 10 000 Fr. CFA to Mr. Boukadia to buy his “beer”, recognizing Mr. Boukadia as his elder who nevertheless remains his brothers despite everything that happened, and consequently, he added: “peace should prevail among them”.
After having apologised, the director also asked Mr. Boukadia to tell his representative in Pointe-Noire to bring a doctor and an ambulance. As Mr Boukadia has dual citizenship, including that of France, the French consulate, which intervened under the Vienna Convention, brought a doctor and an ambulance at its own expenses. The wife of Monsieur Boukadia, a French citizen, filed a complaint in Paris in France. The physician requests that an x-ray be performed, a CT scan and a cardiovascular assessment. Stay tuned…
Note from CDRC’s Press Team
This assassination attempt, happens:
A few weeks after a suspected fire occured next to the cell where President Modeste Boukadia is illegally detained since January 15, 2016;
2 months after the alarming reports on the health of Mr KIMANGOU Joseph, who is member of the CDRC party, held in prison for political reasons according to the finding of the UN Human Rights Council;
2 months after the Minister of Justice Pierre Mabiala declared at the RFI radio (Radio France International) that there is no political prisoners in Congo-Brazzaville, despite the condemnation of the Republic of Congo in November 2014 by the UN’s Working Group on Arbitratry Detentions for jailing 14 members of the CDRC due to their political opinions since 2013 and up to now;
5 months after the Justice Minister Mabiala opposed the court ruling that requested the release of Mr. Boukadia who spent more than 4 months in jail without charges against him. This constitutes a double violation of the Constitution by the Minister of Justice (violation of human rights and violation of the separation of powers).
11 months after the unlawful arrest of Mr. Boukadia, without being brought before a judge, in violation of the legislation on trial in absentia. The principle of contumacy requires that the trial be repeated once the person has returned to the country where the judgment in absentia was pronounced. As a reminder, the reasons for his conviction have so far never been presented to his lawyer, which is a contravention of the international conventions to which the Congo is a party (notably the UN Charter of Human Rights and the Charter of Human Rights of the African Union).
Several months after the beginning of deadly bombing in the Pool and in the Southern regions of the Congo which opposed the Constitutional Revision to give another term to Mr Sassou Nguesso. Many associations denounce numerous crimes against civilians. This situation is similar to the violent conditions in which the regime of Mr. Sassou Nguesso committed the coup in 1997 that allowed him to confiscate the democratic power.
This new murder attempt is a clear warning as the director of the prison received instructions from the Minister of Justice Pierre Mabiala, who refuses to release Mr. Boukadia. Mr Boukadia has been in prison for 11 months without any charge restrained against him. The information has been transmitted to International Organisations.
Original text can be found in this website