The Congolese organization Journalist in Danger (JED) said Wednesday in Kinshasa that it had recorded more than 500 attacks against the media, including five journalists killed, during the mandate of President Félix Tshisekedi, whose broken promises it “criticizes” in matters of the press.
Mr. Tshisekedi’s five-year term was “considered that of all hopes for Congolese journalists, after the long reign of Joseph Kabila at the head” of the Democratic Republic of Congo, “marked by bullying, attacks and media closures, arrests and violence sometimes going as far as the assassinations of journalists,” notes JED.
Félix Tshisekedi was particularly committed to making the media “a true 4th power”, recalls the organization in a press release, released on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Committed against Journalists.
But in its annual report, the organization “criticizes the broken promises of the new president and notes that no major action has been taken”, on the political, judicial or security levels, “to make the exercising the profession of journalist, despite the adoption of a new law on the press.
In five years, JED says it has recorded “at least 523 cases of various attacks against the press”, including at least 160 arrests, more than 130 cases of threats or physical violence, 123 cases of media “attacked, closed or broadcast prohibited”…
The deaths of 5 journalists during this period were all recorded in the eastern provinces, prey to violence by armed groups, said Tshivis Tshivuadi, secretary general of JED.
At the time of publication of its report, JED ensures that “at least three journalists are languishing in prison in the DRC”.
Among them is Stanis Bujakera, correspondent in particular for the magazine Jeune Afrique, detained since September 8 in Kinshasa and whose release many organizations and personalities have requested.
Félix Tshisekedi, in power since January 2019, is a candidate for a second term in the elections on December 20.