To mark International Day to End Impunity, Reporters Without Borders’ partner organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, JED, has published a statement drawing attention to the illegal detention of three journalists and the many abuses suffered by the media in the DRC.
Reporters Without Borders supports JED’s demand for the three journalists’ release.
Pierre Sosthène Kambidi, a journalist and editor with the TV station Radio Télévision Chrétienne (RTC), Fortunat Kasongo, owner of Radio Télévision Autonome du Sud Kasaï (RTAS), and John Mpoyi, technical director of the provincial affiliate of Radio Lisanga Télévision (RLTV), were arrested in August this year and have yet to be informed of the charges against them.
The three men are held in the cells of the National Intelligence Agency in Kinshasa and denied visits by their friends and family, lawyers and doctors. They are suspected of contacts with a former army officer, John Tshibangu, a deserter accused of forming a rebel movement.
JED “urges the Congolese political and judicial authorities immediately to order the release of these journalists, held illegally, or failing this to put them on trial now before a competent court so that they are clear about the charges against them”.
JED also said it had recorded 158 breaches of freedom of the press since 1 January this year, and noted that “the impunity enjoyed by known and identifiable people” who were behind these attacks on the media “is at the root of the lack of security and worsening state of the media in the DRC”.