7 August 2007

Congo-Kinshasa: Journalist Jailed for Not Airing Politician's Interview

press release

New York — Intelligence agents in central DRC have jailed a reporter for failing to air an interview with a local politician, according to news reports and local journalists.

Manda Mutombo of Radiotélévision Nationale Congolaise was arrested Friday by Congo's National Intelligence Agency in the diamond-rich city of Kananga, 674 miles (1,085 km) southeast of the capital, Kinshasa, according to news reports and local journalists.

"It is outrageous that a reporter should be jailed for failing to air an interview. He should be released now," said Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director. "If failing to air an interview was a crime, half the profession would be in jail."

ANR agents arrested the journalist after a complaint was filed by Sylvain Mwamba, an opposition member of Western Kasaï's Provincial Assembly. Mutombo and three other local journalists interviewed Mwamba on Thursday, said Ngindu Mulamba, the director of Radiotélévision in Kananga.

Mwamba's interview never aired at Radiotélévision, because he had not been assigned the story. One of the journalists who participated in the interview worked for Radio Channel Media Broadcasting, which did air the piece.

The politician accused Mutombo of fraud. An editor from Radio Channel acknowledged that the journalists had accepted the equivalent of a few dollars each for transportation.

Mutombo is the sixth journalist imprisoned in DRC this year in connection with his work, according to CPJ research.

Last month, CPJ named the DRC one of the world's worst backsliders on press freedom.

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.cpj.org

Copyright © 2007 Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.