Nairobi, August 28, 2014--An editor from the Democratic Republic of Congo has been held by police without charge for a week in connection with libel allegations over a column published in the privately owned bi-weekly CongoNews, according to local journalists and news reports.
Map by Rachael Levy. Sources: Congolese organizations, news reports, and CPJ research. Not all data has been independently verified by CPJ.
Tensions are rising in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after a government official announced recently he would support a change in the constitution to allow President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, to run for a third term in 2016. Under the current constitution, Kabila may serve a maximum of two five-year terms.
New York, February 18, 2014--A journalist in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo died on Sunday from gunshot wounds he sustained in a shootout between Congolese troops and Ugandan rebels, according to news reports.
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.
Abuja, Nigeria, May 23, 2013--Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo should identify the motive behind the murder of a radio presenter who was found on Friday after being missing for 12 days, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, February 15, 2013--Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo should release pending appeal a journalist who was sentenced to six months in prison in December on defamation charges, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalist was taken into custody on Tuesday.
Police arrested Joachim Diana Gikupa, editor of the private daily La Colombe in Kinshasa, and held him at a local court before transferring him to Malaka central prison, according to local news reports. Gikupa's lawyers filed an appeal, saying the journalist was in poor health and should be released on bail, according to the U.N.-backed broadcaster Radio Okapi. Gikupa was also ordered to pay US$20,000 in damages, local press freedom groups reported.
Journalists reporting on renewed conflict in the east were repeatedly censored and intimidated by local officials, the national government, and rebel forces. Fighting resumed in the east after President Joseph Kabila said his government would try to arrest Bosco Ntaganda, a former warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crime charges. In response, Ntaganda joined with army mutineers to form a rebel group that took control of key towns in North Kivu province. The state-run media regulatory agency barred all broadcasters from airing programs discussing the conflict; several radio stations were suspended indefinitely after interviewing the mutineers. At least three journalists fled into hiding after being threatened in reprisal for their reporting on the conflict. Tensions between DRC and neighboring Rwanda also grew after the publication in June of a leaked U.N. report that blamed Kigali for providing military assistance to the rebels. The same month, Communications Minister Lambert Mende accused a Kinshasa newspaper of tribalism and indefinitely suspended the publication in connection with an editorial critical of Congolese of Rwandan ancestry. Although danger was severe in the east, CPJ also documented numerous instances in which officials in Bas Congo detained and intimidated critical journalists.
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