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Journalist receives death threat from police officer in Uvira

(JED/IFEX) - On 10 August 2007, Jean Berchimas Lulaca, a journalist with the Mitumba community radio station in Uvira, 120 km south of Bukavu, the main city of South Kivu province, in eastern DR Congo, was threatened with death by Fidel Mwenebatu, a police officer with the Kasenga police station.

In a telephone conversation with JED, the journalist alleged that the police officer went to his home on 10 August, at approximately 10:00 a.m. (local time). Lulaca was not there at that time and the armed officer, in the presence of several witnesses, said to the journalist's wife,"I will do everything I can to make Lulaca disappear."

The officer accused the journalist of defamation and distribution of false news following a radio broadcast on 9 August in which residents of an Uvira neighbourhood complained about police harassment.

Following the threat, Lulaca filed a complaint with the local police chief, who acknowledged the police officer's inappropriate conduct and committed to giving him an exemplary punishment.

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