Police in Bunia, near the Democratic Republic of Congo’s border with Uganda, on December 1, 2016, detained Adèle Uvon, a television journalist for the privately owned broadcaster Radio-TV Lobiko (RTVL), at an opposition movement press conference launching a campaign to encourage Congolese President Joseph Kabila to stand down at the end of his term on December 19, the U.N.-funded Radio Okapi reported. Police released Uvon without charge four days later, the station reported.
Uvon’s lawyer, Augustin Yaogonda, told French publication Jeune Afrique that authorities filed no charges against the journalist, but that the five activists arrested alongside her would be prosecuted for “inciting disobedience to the state.”
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been wracked by unrest since Kabila announced that presidential elections scheduled to take place November 27 would be delayed until April 2018 to allow voter rolls to be completed, a move seen by his detractors as a ploy to prolong his rule, according to news reports.
The Kinshasa-based media watchdog, Journalist en Danger (JED), reported in early November that at least 87 cases of media freedom violations occurred in 2016 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to online news reports.