JANUARY 18, 2005
Posted: February 2, 2005
Canal Kin TV
Canal Congo TV
Radio Liberté Kinshasa
Officials cut the transmissions of two private television stations and a radio station owned by Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba—Canal Kin TV (CKTV), Canal Congo TV (CCTV), and Radio Liberté Kinshasa (RALIK).
CKTV and RALIK Director Stéphane Kitutu said that just before the transmissions were cut, Information Minister Mova Sakanyi telephoned and ordered him to take off the air immediately a press conference by Joseph Olenghankoy, a former transport minister whom President Joseph Kabila had suspended because of corruption allegations. In his press conference, Olenghankoy harshly criticized Kabila, according to the local press freedom group Journaliste en danger (JED).
As the outlets went off the air, army soldiers were stationed outside the broadcasting center with orders to prevent “unauthorized access,” according to JED. Kitutu confirmed that transmissions were restored on January 21, after he signed a letter promising to respect the law and media ethics.
A memo issued by DRC Information Minister Henri Mova Sakanyi the same day the transmissions were cut states that “religious and thematic” broadcasters should refrain from airing all news and political programs and orders the suspension of all live phone-in programs.
The memo, obtained by CPJ, also stipulates that the president is “sacred” and warns that “any attack on him in the written press or audiovisual media will be sanctioned in accordance with the law.” Furthermore, “the broadcast of any program inciting hatred, violence, disorder or slander will also be sanctioned severely.”