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Attacks on the Press in 2013 - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date March 2014
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2013 - Democratic Republic of the Congo, March 2014, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5371f8da5.html [accessed 5 December 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Key Developments

  • Conflict-torn North Kivu province accounts for most anti-press violations.

  • Authorities resort to censorship in response to critical coverage.

Violations of press freedom, including physical attacks on journalists, arbitrary arrests, detentions, and censorship across the country declined in 2013, compared with the previous year. Several journalists were attacked over the year; the eastern province of North Kivu, where fighting flared between government forces and rebel groups, was the most dangerous region for journalists, according to CPJ research. Local officials and rebels there censored broadcasters and harassed local and international journalists over coverage of the conflict. The state-run media regulatory agency suspended radio programs and journalists airing commentary critical of the authorities. Several soldiers were placed under investigation in connection with an attack on a community radio station in January. Although the reason for the attack was not clear, the station had aired several reports that criticized the military.

[Refworld note: The sections that follow represent a best effort to transcribe onto a single page information that appears in tabs on the CPJ's own pages, which also include a number of dynamically-generated graphics not readily reproducible here. Refworld researchers are therefore strongly recommended to check against the original report: Attacks on the Press in 2013.]


Broadcasters censored: 10

At least 10 radio and TV stations were silenced for weeks and months at a time by government regulators and local officials. Station presenters were also suspended for airing programs or commentary critical of authorities, according to CPJ research.

Breakdown of censored stations:

  • Radio Faraja
  • Radio Télévision Vénus
  • Molière TV
  • RTYL
  • Radio Kivu One
  • Radio Communautaire Mutanga
  • KasaÏ Horizon Radio Télévision
  • Full Contact Radio
  • Radio Télévision ya Lisano
  • Radio Télévision Graben

Soldiers probed in radio station's attack: 14

In a rare glimmer of hope for justice, a military prosecutor placed soldiers of the DRC's armed forces under investigation in relation to a January raid and the looting of community station Radio Tujenge Kabambare in the eastern town of Kabambare.

The reason behind the raid was not clear in late year. The station's director, Gekalom Kalonda Mukelenge, said that the station had aired reports critical of the military, including interviews with local citizens accusing soldiers of extortion at arbitrary checkpoints. The soldiers had not yet been formally charged or brought to trial in late year.

Security forces have often been accused of raiding and attacking radio stations that air broadcasts critical of the military.

Suspected attacks by security forces:

2010

  • Radio Télé Kintuadi
  • Radio Moto OÏcha
  • Canal Kin Television (CKTV)
  • Canal Congo Television (CCTV)
  • Radio Liberty Kinshasa (RALIK)

2011

  • Radio Nsanga FM
  • Radio Télé Kibunge

2012

  • Radio Télévision Autonome du Sud KasaÏ (RTAS)
  • Radio Mambenga
  • Radio Liberté

2012

  • Radio Tujenge Kabambare

Anti-press attacks: 69

Press freedom abuses across the country, including threats, physical attacks, arbitrary detentions and closures of news outlets or suspensions of programs and imprisonments, declined in 2013, according to CPJ research.


Attacks in North Kivu: 15

The restive North Kivu province – where periodic fighting flared between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (known by the French acronym FARDC) and rebel groups – produced the largest number of anti-press violations, according to CPJ research.

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