Cameraman Clément Nku of Canal Congo Télévision (CCTV), a television station owned by presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba, was freed on 29 November after being held for nine days at the Kinshasa headquarters of the General Directorate of Intelligence and Special Services (DGRS), Journalist in Danger (JED) reported.
Nku said he was arrested outside the Congolese Office for Control. The police accused him of “possession of firearms,” he told Agence France-Presse. He has not been charged.
29.11.2006 - TV host freed after paying fine, two other journalists still held at special police unit
TV host Honoré Kabongo of the privately-owned religious station RadioTélévision Kintuadi (RTK) was released at 2 p.m. today after paying a fine for “inciting hatred,” Reporters Without Borders has learned from Journalist in Danger (JED), its partner organisation in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cameraman Clément Nku of Canal Congo Télévision (CCTV), a station owned by presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba, and Bosange Mbaka of the newspaper Mambenga are still being held illegally at “Kin Mazière,” the Kinshasa headquarters of the General Directorate of Intelligence and Special Services (DGRS).
28.11.2006 - Three journalists illegally held at “Kin Mazière” as Kabila is declared winner
Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the growing number of illegal arrests of journalists after a third one was reported on the same day that the supreme court confirmed Joseph Kabila as the winner of the presidential election.
“In a democracy, the media are not regulated by permanently monitoring news reports and carrying out police raids,” the press freedom organisation said. “The interior ministry must put a stop to these raids, which it is responsible for ordering, as they are worthy of the continent’s most repressive regimes.”
Reporters Without Borders added: “The Congolese people have elected a president democratically. This should open the way to a new era in which the rule of law prevails, not an era of murky and brutal commando operations.”
Some 10 armed officers from the General Directorate of Intelligence and Special Services (DGRS) stormed into the studios of RadioTélévision Kintuadi (RTK), a privately-owned religious TV station, at 11:45 a.m. on 25 November and cut short the “Morning Screen” programme being hosted by Honoré Kabongo, which was about the frequent blackouts and how they are encouraging violent crime in the capital.
The police seized five cameras, six mobile phones and several microphones, and took Kabongo and cameraman Bienvenu Ngizulu to Kinshasa police headquarters, known as “Kin Mazière.” Ngizulu was released on 27 November but Kabongo is still being held.
According to Journalist in Danger (JED), Reporters Without Borders’ partner organisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the police accuse Kabongo of “dealing with a subject likely to incite the population to civil disobedience at a sensitive time.” Kabongo had received an SMS message on his mobile phone on 11 November ordering him to stop covering news about violent crime in the capital.
Kabongo is the third journalist currently being held in a completely illegal manner. Clément Nku, a cameraman with Canal Congo Télévision (CCTV), a television state owned by presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba, was arrested on 21 November after filming clashes outside the supreme court. Bosange Mbaka of the newspaper Mambenga was arrested nearby the same day.