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Maître Firmin Yangambi Libote, a former death row prisoner in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is coming to France to share his views

Maître Firmin YANGAMBI LIBOTE, former political prisoner, former president of the Tshopo province bar association in Kisangani, lawyer at the International Criminal Court, human rights activist, and president of the NGO Peace on Earth, was sentenced to death in 2010 for illegal possession of war weapons and attempted organization of an insurgency movement.
Maître Firmin Yangambi Libote (© Christophe Meireis)

While proclaiming his innocence, his sentence was reduced to 20 years of imprisonment during which he continuously contested the accusations. After ten years, he was granted presidential pardon in March 2019.

His commitment to justice and fundamental rights has made him the target of multiple pressures, even after his release. Indeed, he continues to face numerous intimidations due to his activist activities. His story reflects the persistent challenges faced by human rights defenders in many regions of the world.

Next week will be an opportunity for Mr. Yangambi Libote to meet with high-level political figures and participate in several civil society initiatives, especially with young people. Join us on Monday, April 8th at 7:00 PM at the House of the Bar Association, 2 Rue de Harlay, Paris, to hear his testimony as well as the intervention of Marie-Lina Perez, Africa-Asia Manager at ECPM, who will discuss the decision of the Congolese authorities to lift the moratorium on executions (free entry, reservation required at

The lifting of the moratorium on executions in the DRC will be a central issue of Mr. Yangambi Libote’s visit

The presence of Me. Yangambi Libote is significant within a particular context in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Indeed, in a statement broadcasted on February 5, 2024, during the 8 p.m. edition of the national television news, the High Defense Council requested the Supreme Commander of the FARDC and the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo to lift the moratorium on the executions of death row prisoners, which was in place since 2003.

During the Council of Ministers on February 9, the State Minister requested the government to take note of this request. On March 13, the Ministry of Justice officially lifted the moratorium. This decision is of paramount importance; currently, more than 800 death row inmates are detained in prisons across the DRC, awaiting for execution.

Infographics – the death penalty in DRC (2023)

In this context, the presence and testimony of Me. Yangambi Libote hold particular significance, providing an opportunity to raise awareness about the consequences of such a political decision.

Press release
March 2024
ECPM and CPJ asbl share their very strong concern following the publication of the circular…