The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) has called on the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to create a conducive environment for the free and safe exercise of journalism in the country, following the arrests and
attacks on journalists, the suspension of internet and the closure of some media outlets.
“It is not the role of the Government officials to decide how the journalists and media outlets should cover their assignments and proceedings. The recent attacks are serious setback on press freedom in Congo.” said Abdulwaheed Odusile, President of FAJ
According to media reports, on the August 5, the Police raided Radio Télévision Chrétienne (RTC) a community radio station in the town of Kananga shortly after it broadcast a report on a new tax on motorcycles : some equipment of the station were seized.
On July 31, security forces arrested and detained about 18 journalists across the country as they covered nationawide anti-government protests demanding that President Joseph Kabila leave office by the end of the year. They were released the same day, but photographs and recordings were deleted from their equipments.
The FAJ reiterates the call to President Joseph Kabila to prevail on his government to rescind all repressive decisions and to return all equipment to the journalists and media houses, and to allow journalists to operate freely in the country as outlined by the African Union in the Declaration of principles of freedom of expression in Africa.
The FAJ represents 50,000 journalists in Africa