In February 2007, the Law Society of Upper Canada wrote to authorities in the
Democratic Republic of Congo expressing deep concerns over the news of the
arrest and detention of human rights lawyer Marie-Thérèse Nlandu Mpolo-Nene on
November 21, 2006.
On November 21, 2006, members of the Special Services police arrested
Marie-Thérèse Nlandu Mpolo-Nene, a lawyer at the Supreme Court of Justice of the
Democratic Republic of Congo, and the leader of the political party for peace.
Marie-Thérèse Nlandu Mpolo-Nene represented Jean-Pierre Bemba, former
Vice-President of the country, in his appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice
against the results of the second round of presidential elections.
The rounds of presidential elections resulted in tensions and outbreaks of
violence and in an increase in politically motivated human rights violations.
The Supreme Court began hearing complaints about the electoral process on
November 21, 2006 and violence broke out outside the Court between supporters of
Jean-Pierre Bemba and the police. The Supreme Court was set on fire, and was
partially destroyed by protestors before order was restored.
Marie-Thérèse Nlandu Mpolo-Nene was arrested when she was visiting six of her
colleagues arrested the day before. She was charged with 'organizing an
insurrectionary movement' and with 'illegal possession of firearms.'