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Journalist assaulted during presidential procession

(JED/IFEX) - JED has expressed outrage over the 30 June 2007 savage beating of journalist Ernest Mukuli, a reporter with the Catholic broadcaster Radio Télévision Amani (RTA) in Kisangani, the main city in Oriental province, northeastern DRC. The incident occurred during festivities marking the 47th anniversary of Congolese independence.

According to information received by JED, at around 1:00 p.m. (local time), five men in jackets entered the RTA studios looking for Mukuli, whom they had witnessed filming the presidential procession from the studios' balcony. When they saw him, the men (who did not identify themselves) began beating the journalist in front of his colleagues. They led him forcibly around the studios, demanding that he produce his journalist's accreditation to cover the procession. They later made off with one of the station's cameras.

In a 3 July conversation with JED, Mukuli said the men drove one of Kisangani's two Repbulican Guard Jeeps and that he had spotted one of them earlier in the day at the procession. He also said that all attempts to recover the stolen material had thus far been unsuccessful, and that the Republican Guard had denied any involvement in the incident, dismissing it as the work of either a military or civil intelligence agency.

JED calls on the government to investigate the assault on Mukuli and to punish those responsible.

JED further calls on all state institutions to act on commitments to democracy and freedom of expression undertaken by the ratifying of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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