Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 162nd session (Windhoek, 11 April 1998)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Having before it the case of Mr. Joseph Olenghankoy, Mr. Eugène Diomi Ndongala Nzomambu and Mr. Etienne Tshisekedi, members of the Parliament of former Zaire HCR­PT, which has been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians in accordance with the " Procedure for the examination and treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of human rights of parliamentarians ",

Taking note of the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which contains a detailed outline of the case,

Having studied a communication concerning the case of Mr. Joseph Olenghankoy, Mr. Ndongala Nzomambu and Mr. Tshisekedi, members of the Parliament of former Zaire HCR­PT dissolved in May 1997,

Considering that, according to the source, Mr. Ndongala, President of the Front for the Survival of Democracy in the Congo, was detained at his home on 10 December 1997 without an arrest warrant by members of the military police; that they reportedly took him to Loano military camp, Kinshasa, and then to Kokolo; that on 2 January 1998 he was reportedly transferred to a farm at Mikonga before being brought back to the military camp at Kokolo; that he was allegedly badly beaten; that his health having greatly deteriorated, he was reportedly taken to a hospital on 8 January 1998 and operated; that he is reportedly still held under the permanent guard of soldiers,

Considering that Mr. Etienne Tshisekedi, leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the main opposition party in former Zaire, was allegedly detained without an arrest warrant by members of the Congolese armed forces on 12 February 1998; that he is said to be accused of breaking the ban on any political activity, the UDPS reportedly having announced its intention to celebrate the 16th anniversary of its founding; that after a few hours of detention Mr. Tshisekedi is said to have been placed under house arrest in his village, arriving there on 15 February; that he was reportedly relegated to his village to work in the fields and so help rebuild the State while his case was being investigated; that the source fears for his safety and is worried that he may be denied access to legal counsel,

Considering that, according to the source, Mr. Olenghankoy, National President of the Innovatory Forces for Union and Solidarity, was arrested at his office on 20 January 1998 by elements of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) and taken to the ANR jail, where he was reportedly detained for ten days before being transferred first to the Kokolo military camp and later to Lubumbashi and held in Kasapa prison; that there has apparently been no further news of him,

1. Expresses deep concern at the arrest and detention of Mr. Olenghankoy and Mr. Ndongala and at the placing of Mr. Tshisekedi under house arrest, apparently without any judicial proceedings;

2. Is alarmed at the allegation of Mr. Ndongala's ill-treatment;

3. Recalls that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and, that by virtue of its obligations under these norms, is bound to respect the right to freedom from torture and ill-treatment, and the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and freedom of association;

4. Consequently urges the authorities to ensure that the three former MPs are not tortured and ill-treated and, where Mr. Ndongala is concerned, to identify and punish those who beat him up;

5. Calls on the authorities to comply with their obligation under international human rights norms and either release the three persons concerned forthwith or bring them to trial under a tenable criminal charge;

6. Wishes to ascertain the current situation of the former MPs concerned, in particular:

(i) The exact conditions of their detention and state of health;

(ii) The legal grounds for their arrest or house arrest and the facts adduced to substantiate them;

(iii) Whether they are interrogated, and whether defence counsel is available to them;

(iv) Whether they enjoy their right to visits from their relatives and defence counsel;

7. Requests the Secretary General to convey this decision to the President of the Republic, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Foreign Affairs;

8. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (September 1998).

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