MP and party chairman
Arrested on 19 December 2016, the last day of president Kabila’s second and last term pursuant to the Constitution, after he and his colleagues allegedly seized, detained and beat three soldiers from the Republican Guard dressed as civilians. Elected member of parliament Franck Diongo was detained in several places and claims that he was severely beaten over the next few days, including at the Tshatshi military camp and the headquarters of military intelligence in Kinshasa. According to the United Nations, this leader of the Progressive Lumumbist movement (MLP, an opposition party) was “subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” while detained by military intelligence agents.
On 28 December, during a summary trial at which he appeared in a wheelchair and on a drip as a result of ill-treatment suffered during his arrest, the DR Congo Supreme court of justice sentenced him to five years in prison for “arbitrary arrest” and “aggravated illegal detention” without possible appeal.
In June, his lawyers submitted a statement on his behalf to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. On 21 June 2017, while other prisoners were registering and without providing a reason, the director of the prison registration centre did not allow Franck Diongo to register, a prerequisite before any participation in upcoming elections.
With his health deteriorating, Franck Diongo was transferred on 18 August 2017 to a specialised medical centre. But during the treatment, he was brutally removed from his hospital bed on 31 August 2017 and returned to Kinshasa’s central prison. Diongo is still detained there. His state of health is worsening.