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Democratic Republic of Congo 27 December 2004

Director of independent newspaper released on bail

Feu D’or Bosange Ifonge, director of the Kinshasa-based "Tapis Rouge" newspaper, was granted a provisional release on 24 December 2004, after posting bail of US$340. Bosange was arrested on 18 December by judicial police inspectors from the Kinshasa-Gombe Public Prosecutor’s Office.


Director of "Tapis Rouge" newspaper jailed in Kinshasa

On 18 December 2004, Feu D’or Bonsange Ifonge, director-general of the Kinshasa-based newspaper "Tapis Rouge", was arrested by police inspectors from the Kinshasa/Gombe Public Prosecutor’s Office. Bonsange was first held at the Public Prosecutor’s Office’s detention centre before being transferred, the following day, to Kinshasa’s Penitentiary and Reeducation Centre (Centre pénitentiaire et de rééducation de Kinshasa, CPRK, formerly Makala Central Prison).

Since his arrest, the journalist has been interrogated on two separate occasions about an article published in the 16 December edition (issue 244) of "Tapis Rouge", entitled, "Running Battle at the DGI [Direction générale des impôts, Taxation Department], Director-General Kabala and Director Bulambo Are Headed for the Makala Prison".

The article said public funds were being mismanaged and misappropriated at the DGI. The article was signed by Thony Héritier, which authorities believe is a pseudonym.

On 22 December, a JED representative met with Bonsange at the CPRK. He said he had appeared in court on 20 December and was asked once again to reveal the full identity of the article’s author. Bonsange claims that Thony Héritier is the journalist’s real name.

Following the hearing, Bonsange filed a formal request for a provisonal release. The request is currently being considered by judicial authorities.

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