Panafrican News Agency

RSF denounces repression of media in DRC province

Paris, France (PANA) - Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) Wednesday condemned the repression of media professionals in the province of Mongala, northwest Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the authorities removed six journalists on 17 June.

RSF, in a statement issued and sent to PANA here, said the provincial authorities the same day decreed the suspension until further notice of several political programmes ostensibly to “bring back social and durable peace in the province of Mongala in general and in the territory of Bumba in particular".

The six dismissed journalists are Fabrice Ngani, Victor Mbonzo, Trésor Emeka and José Lingili of La Voix de Bumba, Olivier Péguy Yenga of Radio Mongala and Benjamin Mondonga of Radio Mwana Mboka.

Several other journalists were suspended for a duration of between one and three months. They were Albert Mohila of Radio Mwana Mboka, Alain Bakenya of Radio Mongala and Paulin Bolembe of rural Radio of Bumba.

Altogether, not less than five private radio and 13 journalists were affected by the measure. They were accused of breaching public order or not respecting ethics of the journalism profession.

"There is no characterized offense in this affair, the decision is purely political and is the last episode of the repression launched against media for several weeks by the governor of Mongala.

“It is about the most serious breaches against Congolese media and journalists for which the responsibility of local authorities is directly engaged since the election of a new president last year,” said the RSF Africa office. 

RSF said it was deeply worried by the harassment against the media in the province of Mongala and instantly called on the government’s senior authorities to intervene ln the matter.

“There is emergency to end this harassment against the media and journalists who only do their job, without whom the change promised in terms of press freedom could not be achieved,” said RSF.

The RSF, United-Nations and several organisations of defence against press freedom like the local organization, Journalists in Danger (JED), condemned the rise in attacks on journalists in the DRC, which occupies the 150th position out of 180 countries listed on world press freedom ranking by the RSF in 2020.

The attacks also run counter to the support and protection and security of journalists promised by Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi.

 

-0-   PANA     BM/BEH/MSA/RA   24Jun2020