Four armed men abducted Franck Fwamba, editor of the monthly magazine Mining News, and forced him into an unmarked car at around 6 p.m. on June 6, 2012, in the southern city of Lubumbashi, according to local journalists and the press freedom group Journaliste en Danger (JED).
The assailants placed a hood on Fwamba’s head and took him to a house where he was interrogated over his personal relationships, his bank accounts, his political affiliation, the politicians with whom he was friends, and the sources of information for his publication, local journalist said. After 11 hours of interrogation, Fwamba was stripped of his personal belongings and dumped near a school in a suburb near Lubumbashi.
Sylvie Manda, Fwamba’s colleague, told CPJ that she had received several intimidating phone calls from unidentified individuals during Fwamba’s sequestration.
The motive of the kidnapping was not immediately clear. Mining News publishes reports on the activities of mining companies operating in the mineral-rich Katanga province, according to CPJ research. Fwamba had reported anonymous threats in March 2012 after the magazine published an article critical of the management of state power authority Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL), JED reported.