Bapuwa Mwamba

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New York, November 24, 2008--Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo should thoroughly and transparently investigate the killing of a radio reporter on Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

New York, May 22, 2008--Three men accused of killing Congolese journalist Serge Maheshe in 2007 were convicted and sentenced to death, while two others were acquitted in a retrial that ended Wednesday. The trial failed to establish a clear motive for the crime, according to news reports and local journalists.
The historic November 2006 presidential election--the first since the country's independence from Belgium in 1960--was followed by a yearlong nationwide wave of media abuses as the new administration struggled with rampant unrest, insecurity, and impunity in attacks against media workers. Interim President Joseph Kabila defeated former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba in the divisive 2006 presidential runoff, ending a fragile power-sharing government and marking the start of a difficult transition to democracy.

New York, August 10, 2007— A respected freelance photojournalist in eastern DRC was gunned down on Thursday evening as he returned home from covering a local conference on environmental protection, local journalists told CPJ.

CPJ is investigating whether Patrick Kikuku Wilungula—the second journalist killed in Congo’s volatile east this year after Serge Maheshe—was murdered for his work

New York, June 14, 2007— Police arrested two suspects today in the killing of a broadcaster for United Nations-sponsored Radio Okapi in the eastern border town of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the station’s journalists told CPJ.

CPJ is investigating to determine whether Serge Maheshe was killed because of his work as a journalist.

The murder of freelance journalist Bapuwa Mwamba in the weeks before historic national elections cast a deep chill over the media, whose members were already subject to frequent attacks and intimidation. Mwamba was the second journalist to be shot to death in his home in eight months. Attacks on the press rose sharply in the run-up to July 30 parliamentary and presidential polls; the presidential race, which went to a runoff in October, was particularly divisive. Journalists were subject to violence, censorship, and arbitrary imprisonment by government forces, political factions, and rogue elements. Authorities also expelled a foreign correspondent. The courts provided little protection against abuses in this war-ravaged, corruption-plagued country. Partisan and inflammatory reporting in some sections of the media contributed to the political tensions.
New York, September 1, 2006—Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo are holding a former soldier and two civilians in connection with the July 8 murder of freelance journalist Bapuwa Mwamba, according to the local press freedom group Journaliste en Danger and Agence France-Presse.

Kinshasa regional police chief Gen. Patrick Sabiti told journalists Thursday that the three men were detained July 25 in the southwestern port city of Matadi. AFP said the three had been charged with murder but no date had been set for a court appearance. They were named as Vungu Mbembé, an army deserter, Mangenele Lowawi and Kunku Makwala Sekula.
New York, July 28, 2006—Journalist Emmanuel Makila was surrounded by rioters and threatened with death after an election rally by presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba yesterday in Kinshasa. Makila, who works for private weeklies The Post and Révélateur, told the Committee to Protect Journalists he was saved by a few bystanders who pleaded with the mob on his behalf. Rioters seized Makila’s camera after he photographed an arson attack on a building housing the High Authority on Media, a national press watchdog.
New York, July 10, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of Bapuwa Mwamba, a Congolese journalist who worked for several local publications in the capital, Kinshasa. Mwamba was shot by unidentified gunmen who burst into his home July 8. CPJ is investigating whether the murder was linked to Mwamba’s journalistic work.

9 results