Congo-Kinshasa: Main Opposition Television Station Muzzled in Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi

press release

Radio Lisanga Télévision (RLTV), the Kinshasa-based main opposition television station, which has been the subject of numerous attacks by authorities during the recent electoral campaign, has once again been silenced by authorities in Kasai-Oriental province, in the west of the country, and by the media regulator, the CSAC (Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel et la Communication), in Kinshasa.

According to JED sources, RLTV's station in Mbuji-Mayi was besieged by a heavily-armed police unit on 5 December and remained occupied as of 8 December. Everyone in the building at the time was evacuated while police forces assumed control of the premises, barring entry to all journalists.

The official reason for the siege has not been given either by police or by provincial authorities, while CSAC officials remain tight-lipped about the incident.

Both Mbuji-Mayi and Kinshasa are strongholds of main opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi.

RLTV's Mbuji-Mayi station director Floribert Mole told JED that the station doors were locked by police but that no reason was given for the raid. "A few days before the raid on our station we received a number of threats, including one from the provincial governor via his own television station, who said during a programme that he wanted to "put an end to RLTV" and accused opposition MP Roger Lumbala of fleeing to Kinshasa after stirring up trouble in Mbuji-Mayi."

Following the threats and police raid on the station, Mole claims he reported the attack to the CSAC but received no response.

Meanwhile in Kinshasa RLTV's signal was cut on 3 December at around midnight for seven hours after the CSAC accused the station of reporting election results that were not the official results released by the electoral commission.

JED denounces these relentless attacks on RLTV and calls on authorities in Kasai-Oriental province to order the immediate departure of police forces from RLTV studios.

JED profoundly opposes the discriminatory decision to suspend RLTV and deprive opposition candidates and their supporters a vehicle of expression.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2011 Journaliste En Danger. 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.