At least four people were killed in the rioting, and several buildings were looted and set ablaze, according to international news reports. It was not immediately clear what sparked the attack on the High Authority on Media building. The agency, charged with overseeing media ethics, has imposed some sanctions in regard to election coverage.
The Democratic Republic of Congo holds elections Sunday for a president and parliament, the first national polls since independence from Belgium in 1960.
“This attack highlights the serious safety concerns for journalists covering the news in the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially at this time,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We call on all parties to ensure that journalists are able to cover the elections freely, and without fear of reprisal.”
CPJ has documented a sharp increase in attacks on the press in the run-up to the general election. These include the murder of freelance journalist Bapuwa Mwamba by unidentified gunmen who burst into his home on July 8. For more information, see CPJ’s July 10 news alert: