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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Key Developments

» Conflict-torn North Kivu province accounts for most anti-press violations.

» Authorities resort to censorship in response to critical coverage.

Violations of press freedom, including physical attacks on journalists, arbitrary arrests, detentions, and censorship across the country declined in 2013, compared with the previous year. Several journalists were attacked over the year; the eastern province of North Kivu, where fighting flared between government forces and rebel groups, was the most dangerous region for journalists, according to CPJ research. Local officials and rebels there censored broadcasters and harassed local and international journalists over coverage of the conflict. The state-run media regulatory agency suspended radio programs and journalists airing commentary critical of the authorities. Several soldiers were placed under investigation in connection with an attack on a community radio station in January. Although the reason for the attack was not clear, the station had aired several reports that criticized the military.



  • 10

    Broadcasters censored
  • 14

    Soldiers probed in radio station's attack
  • 69

    Anti-press attacks
  • 15

    Attacks in North Kivu
 

At least 10 radio and TV stations were silenced for weeks and months at a time by government regulators and local officials. Station presenters were also suspended for airing programs or commentary critical of authorities, according to CPJ research.

Breakdown of censored stations:

Radio Faraja
Radio Télévision Vénus
Molière TV
RTYL
Radio Kivu One
Radio Communautaire Mutanga
Kasaï Horizon Radio Télévision
Full Contact Radio
Radio Télévision ya Lisano
Radio Télévision Graben

 

In a rare glimmer of hope for justice, a military prosecutor placed soldiers of the DRC's armed forces under investigation in relation to a January raid and the looting of community station Radio Tujenge Kabambare in the eastern town of Kabambare.

The reason behind the raid was not clear in late year. The station's director, Gekalom Kalonda Mukelenge, said that the station had aired reports critical of the military, including interviews with local citizens accusing soldiers of extortion at arbitrary checkpoints. The soldiers had not yet been formally charged or brought to trial in late year.

Security forces have often been accused of raiding and attacking radio stations that air broadcasts critical of the military.


Suspected attacks by security forces:

2010

Radio Télé Kintuadi
Radio Moto Oïcha
Canal Kin Television (CKTV)
Canal Congo Television (CCTV)
Radio Liberty Kinshasa (RALIK)

2011

Radio Nsanga FM
Radio Télé Kibunge

2012

Radio Télévision Autonome du Sud Kasaï (RTAS)
Radio Mambenga
Radio Liberté

2013

Radio Tujenge Kabambare
 

Press freedom abuses across the country, including threats, physical attacks, arbitrary detentions and closures of news outlets or suspensions of programs and imprisonments, declined in 2013, according to CPJ research.

Anti-press attacks over time in all provinces:
 

The restive North Kivu province--where periodic fighting flared between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (known by the French acronym FARDC) and rebel groups--produced the largest number of anti-press violations, according to CPJ research.

Anti-press violations in North Kivu over time:



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