Egide Mwemero

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Egide Mwemero, a Burundian journalist with the independent station Radio Publique Africaine, was arrested in Uvira, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on October 13, 2015, his station manager told CPJ. He had not been charged as of late in the year.

Mwemero, a reporter, was apprehended by Congolese authorities at the offices of Democratic Republic of Congo community radio station Radio le Messager du Peuple, alongside Congolese reporters Manzambi Mupenge and Lucien Kanana, according to Journaliste en Danger, a Congolese press freedom organization. Mupenge and Kanana were released two days later, news reports said. It is not clear why the journalists were arrested.

The Congolese station had partnered with Radio Publique Africaine to broadcast its news and current affairs show “Humura Burundi,” according to Journaliste en Danger. Following an attempted coup in Burundi in May 2015, several radio stations were forced off the air and had equipment damaged. Radio Publique Africaine was among those closed. The Congolese station stopped broadcasting the show on October 9, 2015 on the orders of Congolese authorities, a local news report said. No reason for the order was given, according to reports.

Mwemero had been living in exile since fleeing unrest in Burundi after the attempted coup, Bob Rugurika, managing director of Radio Publique Africaine, told CPJ. On the night of November 1, 2015, Mwemero was moved from the police station in Uvira to an undisclosed location. CPJ could not determine his whereabouts in late 2015.