Senegal: CPJ calls for immediate release of two detained journalists in Congo

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned the arbitrary detention of two radio journalists by authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo and called for their immediate release.

In a statement, obtained by PANA in Dakar, Senegal, CPJ revealed that Jacques Unyuta Tuambe andJoël Ular Wedunga, both radio reporters for Radio la Colombe, based in the town of Mahagi in the Ituri district of Oriental Province in Congo, were arrested separately on July 8th and 9th respectively.

Tuambe and Wedunga are said to have been held without charge by Congolese National Police since the dates of their arrests.

According to CPJ, the journalists were both arrested while at the radio station's office, in both cases while reporting on a petition led by local lawyers gathering signatures condemning military harassment of the public in Mahagi.

"The purpose of journalism is to hold powerful institutions, including the military, to account, particularly with significant elections on the horizon," remarked CPJ Africa Program Coordinator, Angela Quintal.

"Congolese officials must respect the role of the media, and we urge them to release these reporters immediately."

The statement also pointed out that the country had seen a number of press freedom abuses over the past 18 months, including internet blackouts, arbitrary arrests, attempts at censorship, and physical attacks on journalists.

All these, CPJ said happened against the backdrop of a presidential election scheduled later this year, but the press freedom watchdog quoted Maman Sidikou, the head of the UN mission in DRC, as saying at a recent press conference: "I do not see the elections (taking place) on November 27th."
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 18July2016












18 july 2016 15:03:05




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