Republic of Congo regulators suspend three newspapers

On November 13, 2013, the state-run media regulatory board High Council on Freedom of Communication (CSLC), suspended three private weeklies from circulation for nine months in connection with articles they published that were critical of the authorities, according to news reports. The 11 members of the council are hand-picked by the president and have the authority to suspend news outlets, according to CPJ research.

The council suspended Sel-Piment after the paper republished in its November 6, 2013, edition an Internet article on a purported victim of alleged police brutality, according to local journalists and news reports. In a press conference, Deputy Director General of Police Albert Ngoto singled out the article as “defamatory,” according to news reports. The council accused the paper of “insulting the national police corps, defamation, manipulation of opinion, publication of misinformation and accusations without proof,” according to news reports.

The Council also accused La Voix du Peuple of “insulting the army corps, undermining human dignity and manipulating opinion” in connection with its article that was critical of the military, according to news reports.

Le Glaive was suspended over an April 2013 opinion piece that questioned the academic and professional qualifications of Serge Bouya, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso’s nephew, whom the president appointed the Deputy Director General of the port of Pointe Noire, the country’s second largest city, according to news reports.