Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014, 13:56 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2010 - Motive Unconfirmed: Patient Chebeya

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2011
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2010 - Motive Unconfirmed: Patient Chebeya, January 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e54d69123.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
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.

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April 5, 2010, in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Armed men in military uniforms surrounded Chebeya, 35, in front of his house around 10 p.m. in the volatile eastern city of Beni, according to the local press freedom group Journaliste En Danger (JED). Chebeya surrendered his cell phones, videotapes, and money and pleaded for his life, but the gunmen fired several point-blank shots, his wife, a witness, told JED.

Chebeya, a father of four, was returning from a recording studio where he had been editing video footage when he was gunned down, according to local journalists. Authorities immediately arrested two military officers in connection with the killing, and a third on a related weapons charge. A military tribunal tried, convicted, and sentenced the officers within 12 days. The proceedings, which resulted in death sentences for two suspects and a five-year prison term for the third, did not shed light on a motive for the crime or on the circumstances, according to local journalists.

Local human rights defenders said they were concerned by the haste with which the proceedings were conducted. Chebeya's widow said the suspects did not match the appearance of the killers, an assertion that prompted JED to call for a retrial. Authorities had been criticized before – notably in the 2007 slaying of journalist Serge Maheshe – for rushing journalist murder cases to trial and trumping up charges against innocent defendants.

Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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