The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the murder of freelance journalist Bapuwa Muamba, who was shot by unknown assailants in his home in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and called for a full investigation to bring his killers to justice.
"We are deeply afflicted by this odious killing that we condemn with utmost firmness,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. “We call on President Joseph Kabila and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to launch the inquest they promised, in order to identify and punish the murderers of Bapuwa Muamba."
The journalist was killed 48 hours after the release of an article in Le Phare, in which he criticised the electoral process.
Muamba was shot at around 3 a.m. on July 8 by unidentified gunmen who broke into his home. His nephew fled the house and then returned with police but was too late to stop the murder, Polydor Mubanga, the publisher of the daily newspaper Le Phare told the IFJ.
In the last few weeks, Muamba told some of his colleagues that he was receiving telephone death threats, Mubanga added.
Muamba had been the victim of two other attacks in DRC before he was killed, according to the Congolese media watchdog Journalistes En Danger. Muamba had been in DRC for nine months and was freelancing with independent newspapers, including Le Potentiel and Le Phare. He had worked for the national news agency and pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique Economie.
The IFJ calls on the DRC government to fully investigate this murder and other acts of violence against journalists. The killers of journalist Franck Kangundu and his wife, who were killed more than eight months ago in DRC, have still not been caught.
"The extent of the attacks against journalists has reached alarming proportions in this pre-election period,” Baglo said. “We are asking the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations, who are involved in the transition process in DRC, to give particular and urgent attention to holding the government and the opposition accountable for the safety of journalists and press freedom.”
For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries