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Documentary filmmaker, his assistant summoned and interrogated by national security agents

(JED/IFEX) - On 7 July 2008, Danish documentary film producer and director Franck Polsein Piesecki and his Congolese assistant Sekombi Katontolo were summoned and held in Goma for 5 hours by agents of the National Intelligence Agency (Agence nationale des renseignements, ANR). Piesecki was working on a documentary called "Blood Mobile" about the country's mining industry.

According to information received by JED, ANR agents came to the filmmaker's hotel and searched his room before taking him and his assistant to the provincial ANR office. Once there, they both had to make a statement. The intelligence agents interrogated the filmmaker, in a threatening manner about every person he had filmed, then they viewed his recorded tapes. Piesecki's cellular phone was also scrutinised in order to verify all emitted and received communications.

JED inquired about the motives for the interrogation and brief detention of the two men, noting that they had an accreditation letter from the Communications and Media Ministry that grants them the authorisation to shoot throughout the DR Congo. The ANR provincial director stated that there was a misunderstanding and that he had been alerted to the presence of "suspicious tourists" in the hotel.

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