Kinshasa, September 6, 2023—Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo must hold accountable the immigration officers who attacked journalist Soleil Ntumba Mufike and broke his camera, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday.
On Friday, September 1, Ntumba was filming police carrying out the court-ordered eviction of the family of the deputy director of the national agency Direction General of Migration, in the provincial capital, Kananga, when Luhizon Zigabe, the director of that agency, ordered around 10 immigration officers to stop the journalist from recording, according to news reports and Ntumba.
Ntumba, information director of the privately owned Kananga-based broadcaster Malandji and correspondent for privately owned Kinshasa-based TV broadcaster B One, was the only journalist at the scene, he said, adding that following Luhizon’s orders, the immigration officers grabbed his clothes, dragged him, and threw him to the ground.
Police officers supervising the eviction intervened to end the attack, the journalist said, adding that his camera was broken and he lost his microphone in the struggle. Ntumba was uninjured.
“DRC authorities should hold accountable those responsible for assaulting journalist Soleil Ntumba Mufike and breaking his camera,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator in Durban, South Africa. “Government officials in the DRC should be making the safety of journalists a top priority.”
Contacted via messaging app, Luhizon denied ordering the immigration officers to attack Ntumba, saying he only asked the journalist to leave.
CPJ’s calls to Léon Bassa, Kasai Central’s provincial police commissioner, rang unanswered.