The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed today its concerns over the situation facing journalists in Democratic Republic of Congo since the beginning of the electoral process last October.
«We condemn the violence against journalists during the electoral process. Journalists have been attacked and their equipments destroyed either by police or by political leaders’ supporters, while they were reporting », said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Office Director.
According to the National Union of Media Professionals of DRC (SNPP), an IFJ affiliate, 10 radio and television stations and 2 newspapers were shut down by authorities who were not allowed to by the law. At the same time radio stations have been asked to stop taking over news broadcasted by foreign stations like RFI, BBC and Africa N1 under the threat to see their signal cut. The Tv station Canal Futur of opposition leader Vital Kamerhe is still banned to broadcast since last November. Government did not issue any reason.
« We denounce the continuous attempt by government to impose a single opinion on the people under the false excuse of guarantying public order and security. This is a serious violation of the people’s rights to information», regretted Stanislas Nkundiye, Secretary General of SNPP.
Cell phone Short Message Texts services have been blocked for at least one month by the Minister for Interior who wants to prevent citizens to express themselves on electoral frauds. “This decision defies the rights of Congolese citizens to enjoy freedom of communication and circulation of information,” Nkundiye added.
For more information contact the IFJ on +221 33 867 95 86/87
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries