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Ndongala reported in failing health in Congolese prison

  |   July 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 20 (UPI) -- An opposition leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo is seriously ill and being denied proper medical care in a state prison, his wife said.

Patrizia Ndongala, wife of DRC opposition leader Diomi Ndongala, said her husband is running high fevers and vomiting and needs to be transferred to a hospital for treatment, Voice of America reported Saturday.

Ndongala spearheaded a plan to unite the nation's opposition parties under a common banner, but he disappeared the day the unification was to take place. The government said Ndongala fled a rape charge -- a criminal accusation human rights groups and the international community said was falsified as a means of snuffing out political opposition.

Ndongala resurfaced months later on the side of a road in need of emergency surgery. He has said he was being held in a secret government prison.

A delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a federation of international lawmakers, called on prosecutors to honor a ruling by the Congolese Supreme Court that Ndongala should be held under house arrest, not at a prison.

The prison warden has said the ruling means Ndongala isn't his responsibility but has refused to allow his transfer to a hospital.

Patrizia Ndongala said her husband's only medical care comes in the form of aspirin, heavy sedatives and anti-fever injections.

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