DECEMBER 2, 2005
Posted December 8, 2005
Patrice Booto, Le Journal and Pool Malebo
Security forces arrested Patrice Booto, publisher of the thrice-weekly Le Journal and its sister publication, Pool Malebo. Booto was detained at a police station in the capital, Kinshasa, according to local press freedom organization Journaliste en danger (JED). On November 10, Booto was transferred to the state security court, where he was charged the following day with publishing “false rumors.” He was questioned about articles published in the two newspapers in mid-September that claimed that the DRC government had given a large sum of money to Tanzanian education agencies while Congolese teachers were on strike for more pay.
Le Journal and Pool Malebo were suspended for three months in September by the independent but officially sanctioned High Authority on Media (HAM), over the same reports. Some local sources suspected that the HAM’s action was the product of political pressure.
Representatives from JED were able to meet with the jailed journalist on November 9. He said he had been forced at gunpoint to reveal his source for the story and that the source was arrested, JED reported. The name of the source was not revealed.