DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Intelligence agents question four TV journalists over interview

AUGUST 26, 2007
Posted September 5, 2005
Stéphane Kitutu O’Leontwa, Canal Congo Télévision
Thierry Musenepo, Business Radio Télévision

Christian Ali, Business Radio TélévisionTutu Kazadi, Business Radio TélévisionHARASSED
Business Radio Télévision

The broadcast of a 2006 interview of eastern Congo rebel leader Gen. Laurent Nkunda on two private broadcasters in the capital of  Kinshasa led the Congolese National Intelligence Agency to question four journalists and force one station off the air, according to local press freedom group Journaliste en Danger.

Agents severed a key transmission cable of Business Radio Télévision and ordered Director General Musenepo, Director of Production Ali and Program Manager Kazadi into the agency’s offices, the journalists told CPJ. The move was linked to a taped interview of Nkunda discussing issues surrounding the integration of his militia into the Congolese army.

Agents withheld a DVD of the program and a television monitor after interrogating the journalists for five hours about their decision to run the program, they said. The station was off the air for 30 hours.

Director General O’Leontwa of private Canal Congo Télévision was also questioned for five hours and released without charge, according to Blondel Bokoko, the station’s director of information.

Information Minister Toussaint Tshilombo did not immediately return CPJ’s calls, but Chief of Staff Faustin Fwafa asserted that intelligence agents were entitled to question any citizen if they felt there was a threat to national security.