The IFJ Joins USYPAC to Call for a Presidential Pardon for Three Journalists in DRC

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) today joined the Central African Press Union (USYPAC in French) to call

on DRC President Joseph Kabila to grant presidential pardon for three

journalists in prison.

 

“We call on authorities in DRC to release our

three colleagues arrested after being accused of collaboration with the armed

guerillas movements. Their place is not definitely in prisons. Their release

would be a great act of press freedom promotion,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ

Africa Director.

 

 According to USYPAC, the three journalists for

whom presidential pardon are requested are Palata a journalist with Congolese Channel CCTV sentenced for 20 years in

prison and accused of being involved in the case of General Faustin Munene who was

sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by a military court for forming a

rebellion in Bas-Congo province.

 

There are also Fortunat Kasongo and Pierre

Sosthène Kambidi accused of collaboration with armed rebels’ movements.

 

 USYPAC

made this call during a two days regional workshop sponsored by IFJ LOTCO

project held in Kinshasa on September 19-20 with

the objective to discuss the future of media in Central Africa.

 

 “The

presidential pardon would be a great sign from the authorities in respecting

human rights and promoting press freedom, at the eve of the 14th French speaking countries Summit in Kinshasa from 12 to 14 October,” said

Stanis Nkundiye, USYPAC President.

 

 Participants

of the Kinshasa workshop also call on DRC, Gabon

and Cameroon, all French speaking countries to put into practice the Florence

Agreement and to decriminalize press offenses as it is the case in Congo and

Chad.

 

“Such a decision will help promote

populations’ access to information and help media play a key role in building

and consolidating participatory democracy,” added Nkundiye.

 

 For more

information, please contact IFJ on +221- 33 867 95 87

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in

134 countries