Suspects in DRC coup attempt say inhumane detention conditions

Lawyers for 51 defendants, including three Americans, accused of an attempted coup in DR Congo, claimed mistreatment in detention and called for the annulment of evidence due to alleged irregularities, such as the absence of interpreters, during earlier hearings.

The alleged coup, which occurred on May 19, involved an attack on Economy Minister Vital Kamerhe’s home and a raid on the offices of President Felix Tshisekedi.

Among the accused are US nationals Marcel Malanga, Taylor Christian Thomson, and Benjamin Reuben Zalman-Polun.

Thomson’s defense highlighted inhuman and degrading treatment during his arrest, citing widely circulated videos showing him stripped naked.

Lawyers for Congolese-Belgian defendant Jean-Jacques Wondo requested his provisional release on health grounds, noting he was deprived of necessary medication for his diabetes and hypertension.

The trial, which began on June 7 in Ndolo military prison, saw Judge Freddy Ehume declare the Americans’ actions punishable by death, with the next hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Scroll to Top