Senegal: CPJ says court convicts suspect for murdering journalist in DR Congo

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said that a court in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) convicted a suspect of murdering journalist Soleil Balanga.

In a statement, made available to PANA in Dakar, Senegal, on Wednesday, CPJ said the High Court of Boende on Monday found Moussa Tendenle guilty of having slit the journalist's throat and so sentenced him to death.

"This conviction for the murder of Soleil Balanga sends an important message that journalists cannot be killed with impunity," remarked Kerry Paterson, CPJ's Africa research associate.

"Holding perpetrators accountable for attacks on journalists is the only way to break the cycle of violence although CPJ, as a member of the international human rights community, does not advocate for or condone the use of the death penalty."  

According to the statement, Balanga was killed in April 2015 in Équateur province after reporting on the replacement of the supervisor of the Monkoto General Hospital.

The convicted killer is said to be the son of the former hospital supervisor and four other defendants in the case were said to be acquitted.

CPJ disclosed that before his murder, Balanga's radio station had been off the air because of broken equipment and so he would walk through the town every morning and announce the local news using a megaphone.

The press freedom watchdog also said that going by its research, nine out of 10 murders of journalists worldwide go unpunished.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 24Feb2016

24 february 2016 13:25:50

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