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Congo


-  Area: 342,000 sq. km.
-  Population: 3,110,000
-  Language: French (off.)
-  Type of state: republic
-  Head of state: Denis Sassou-Nguesso

Congo - 2003 Annual Report

Journalists with the privately-owned media recovered their editorial freedom. This was not the case for their colleagues in the state-owned media, who continued to be closely monitored by the government.

Despite a presidential election in March 2002 that was disputed by the opposition and renewed violence in the south of the country between rebels and government forces, the situation of press freedom seems to have stabilized in Congo. No more arrests of journalists were reported and cases of threats or harassment became less frequent.
However, the state-owned news media remained under strict government control and self-censorship was standard practice. Journalists know that certain subjects are still very sensitive.
Furthermore, the witch-hunt continued against journalists who worked in the government of former President Pascal Lissouba, the main political rival of President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. Several of these journalists leave the country every year, tired of being threatened and harassed. This was again the case in 2002.

A journalist threatened
Alain Shungu, the correspondent of Radio France Internationale (RFI) and Reporters Without Borders in Brazzaville, was summoned for questioning by the police director general, Col. Jean François Denguet, on 27 June 2002 after he reported that police had banned a meeting of one of the opposition leaders, André Milongo. Shungu said that in the course of the interrogation Denguet threatened to have him killed. Denguet reportedly said: "This is the last time I will have you brought to my office. The next time, I will have you bumped off. Or if you are lucky, I will just withdraw your accreditation."



africa countries list
Africa Introduction - 2003 Annual Report
Africa update
Angola
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Côte d’Ivoire
D.R Congo
Djibouti
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Rwanda
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
Togo
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe

see also
2003 Asia Annual Report
2003 Americas Annual Report
2003 Europe Annual Report
2003 North Africa and the Middle East Annual Report