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SHAMELESS: Tshisekedi Reminded of Fake Promise Made On Press Freedom As Bujakera Remains Incarcerated

On the eve of his speech at the United Nations today, President Fèlix Tshisekedi has been reminded of a fake promise he made to make press freedom a “pawn of democracy” as his government continues told hold journalist Stanis Bujakera in illegally detention.

Bujakera, an international journalist and Reuters correspondent, has now spent over a week in detention after being arrested on last week for allegedly publishing false information on the assassination of former Transport Minister Cherubin Okende.

Tshisekedi’s continues to hold Bujakera in custody despite the constitution allowing accused persons to be released on bail in 48 hours.

French journalist and Editorial Director of Jeune Afrique, François Soudan has since urged President Tshisekedi to honour his need to honor his promise but also the wish of his father to ensure freedom of expression in the DR Congo.

“What I want to do is address President Félix Tshisekedi himself and remind him of a sentence he said last May: “freedom of the press is vital for the consolidation of democracy”. It’s a fair sentence that reminds me of the words that his father, the late Etienne Tshisekedi, in an interview he gave me a dozen years ago, he told me what he wanted, that the Congo is a State of law and realizes the dream of our glorious elders if only for the credibility of the speech that you are preparing to deliver in a few days before the General Assembly of the United Nations, ensure, Mr. President, that this phrase also applies to your great country” Soudan said.

Soudan added that the arrest of Bujakera was seemingly a warning sent to Congolese journalists not to be objective in execution of their work.

According to him, the new Congolese press law recognizes access to sources of information and its non-disclosure.

“The Congolese authorities, in particular the President’s security entourage, place this affair within the framework of an attack on national security, I can understand it to the extent that this article signed Jeune Afrique underlines what all insiders know in Kinshasa. that is to say that there is a rivalry between the services between the national intelligence agency and military intelligence but what the investigators want is to force Stanis Bujakera whose computer, telephones have obviously been seized, revealed his sources both on this affair and on all the others he had to cover despite the fact that the new law on the press adopted on April 4 in Kinshasa stipulates in its articles 95 to 97 the right for the journalist to ‘access to sources and the obligation not to divulge them is a warning in a way which is addressed three months before the presidential election to all the colleagues and sisters of Stanis Bujakera it is more and more difficult for a media in the DRC today to be objective and then distant,” Soudan noted.

Bujakera has been in the custody of the Congolese government since Friday, 8th September and was last week on Thursday placed under “provisional arrest” and transferred to Makala Central Prison in Kinshasa.

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