Press Freedom

4 DR Congo journalists detained, beaten up and tortured by intelligence services

Four journalists in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are currently being detained and tortured by agents of ANR, the country’s ‘deadly’ intelligence services, in the city of Kabinda, Province of Lomami, south east of the capital Kinshasa, reported on Saturday, citing Journalist en Danger (JED), a local media freedom NGO.

Johnny Kasongo, Jean Doudou Ndumba, Musiko Kisiesia and Ephraim Mbayo, journalists and technicians for Radio Veritas, a Catholic radio station broadcasting in Kabinda, were arrested and beaten up on November 29 at 3pm local time by ANR agents, and taken to a private cell, where they are still locked up, the site added.

They did not have a warrant of arrest, JED said, adding that the agents of ANR were executing an order from the provincial governor, who was reportedly angered about the live coverage of the provincial assembly plenary session.

The director of Radio Veritas has confirmed the arrest and torture of journalists by the intelligence services. Security services refused to comment on the arrest.

Tension continues to mount in this mineral-rich central African nation as President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, refuses to step down and seems to be ‘fabricating’ all sorts of excuses to delay the presidential elections planned for December 2016.

The United Nations’ DRC office for human rights (BCNUDH) says at least 186 opposition supporters were brutally arrested by security forces on November 30 during a banned protest march, and taken to various prisons across the country, where they are still locked up. One person was shot dead by security forces in the eastern city of Butembo, the UN added.

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