Scores of DRC media 'closed' in crackdown: rights group

2019-09-03 18:42
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Dozens of media outlets have been shut down in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the latest crackdown against journalists, a local media rights group said on Tuesday.

Congolese group Journalist in Danger (JED) said "around thirty" media outlets were closed "around the country".

"They were accused of not paying taxes," Tshivis Tshivuadi, JED's secretary general told AFP.

The media outlets - which the organisation did not name - were mostly in the Kasai and Equateur provinces, he said.

Journalist in Danger said it had recorded "at least six cases of flagrant attacks on the freedom of information" in two weeks, including attacks and detentions.

One reporter was "violently beaten" by a soldier while interviewing alleged victims of military violence in Nord-Kivu province, it said in a statement.

International press freedom watchdogs often criticise violence and intimidation towards journalists in the DRC, where rights groups say intelligence services have closed media outlets over criticism of the government.

The central African country ranks 154th out of 180 in Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index.

DRC's president Felix Tshisekedi promised to make the press "the fourth estate" when he took office in January, replacing Kabila in the vast country's first peaceful transition to power.

"We gave a list of demands to the president on World Press Freedom Day (on May 3)...but nothing has been done," Tshivuadi said.

Read more on:    felix tshisekedi  |  drc  |  central africa
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