New York, July 29, 2005—The managing director of the small private newspaper La Tolérance was arrested yesterday by judicial police, who have accused him of “discrediting” a state prosecutor in an article published in his newspaper. Jean Pierre Phambu Lutette has been jailed in a cell at the public prosecutor’s department in the capital, Kinshasa, and has yet to be formally charged, according to the Kinshasa-based press freedom organization Journaliste en Danger (JED).
JED reported that Lutette has been questioned regarding a June article alleging that judicial police “terrorized” inhabitants of the southwestern city of Matadi. Police inspectors have accused Lutette of blocking their investigation into who wrote the article, which was published under the initials “G.M.B.,” according to JED, one of whose members visited Lutette in detention earlier today.
“Journalists should not be jailed for their work,” Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said today. “We call on authorities to release Jean Pierre Phambu Lutette immediately.”