Monday, June 24, 2024

DRC: Journalist Arrested for Social Media Post on Army

Louis France Kuzikesa, a journalist of CML13 TV, a television channel broadcasting in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at around 2 p.m. and is being detained at the Kokolo military camp where he is being prosecuted for “attempting to create an insurrection within the army”.

When contacted by JED, the director of military intelligence, Colonel Alphonse Bozene, who is in charge of the journalist’s case, said that Louis France Kuzikesa was questioned about a post he made on 19 April 2021 on social media. He stated that the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), General Célestin Mbala, had quarreled with his two deputies because of the three months’ arrears of military bonuses, already disbursed by the public treasury and that only one month had been paid. However, the other two months were embezzled by General Célestin Mbala.

During the lengthy hearing, the journalist refused to reveal his source of information. He said: This is false information to create an insurrection within the army. His case will be transferred to the courts,” said Colonel Bozene.

Without going into the substance of the case, Journaliste en Danger (JED) is concerned about this serious accusation, which exposes the journalist to heavy penalties.

JED calls on the military and judicial authorities in charge of this case to exercise restraint and ensure that a fair procedure is applied to the journalist.

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