APRIL 24, 2006
Posted: May 1, 2006
Anselme Masua, Radio Okapi
Soldiers from the Republican Guard, a military detachment that falls under the president’s authority, attacked Masua, a journalist for Radio Okapi, at a military base in the central city of Kisangani, according to a United Nations spokesman and the local press freedom organization Journaliste en Danger (JED). Radio Okapi is jointly run by the United Nations and the Switzerland-based Hirondelle foundation.
Masua had traveled to the base to report on soldiers from the Republican Guard who were being trained for integration into a nascent national army. He told the soldiers he was a journalist, JED reported. U.N. spokesman Kemal Saïki told Agence France-Presse that “as soon as [Masua] entered the camp, the man in charge of the Republican Guard unit…began insulting him, the radio station, and MONUC [the U.N.’s DRC mission], before ordering his men to beat him.”
Masua was “beaten on the head and back by six or eight guards,” Saïki said, adding that the journalist, while “very shocked,” did not sustain serious injuries in the attack.