A staunch defender of media pluralism and freedom of expression, radio Réveil FM director Freddy Mulongo was forced to go underground in 2006 and stayed in hiding until he left the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007.
“I was living clandestinely in my own country and I was really scared,” he said. “As president of the Association of Community Radio Stations in Central Africa, a pro-democracy initiative by civil society, I was the government’s bugbear.”
It was thanks to the UN Mission, MONUC, that he was able to leave but he continued to be afraid after arriving in France. “It is incredible the fear that a murderous government can plant in people’s minds. I was afraid that government thugs would come looking for me. Fortunately, Reporters Without Borders took good care of me and that reassured me. The support they give to journalists living in exile is very important.”