The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the expulsion of Ghislaine Dupont, special correspondent of Radio International France (RFI), by authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We firmly condemn this action, which constitutes another violation of press freedom at a time when the country should be protecting journalists’ rights,” said Gabriel Baglo, director of the IFJ Africa office. “Journalists need to be able to report freely in this critical period leading up to the national elections. "
On 3 July, agents of the Congolese intelligence agency escorted Ms. Dupont to the airport in Kinshasa and put her on a plane bound for Brussels. No written notification of expulsion was given to her, RFI said.
After several months of discussions between the heads of RFI and the Congolese government and lobbying on her behalf by press organisations, Ms. Dupont could not obtain accreditation to cover the elections, which are planned for this month. It would have been impossible for Ms. Dupont, who had been in RDC since April, to have covered the elections without authorization.
"It makes no sense to deliver a visa to a journalist, then refuse her accreditation and then expel her like a criminal without giving any explanation," Baglo said.
For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries