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Belgian reporter, interpreter and driver released, another journalist previously reported as dead found alive

(JED/IFEX) - The following is an abridged translation of a JED press release:

JED expresses its relief at the release on 7 November 2008 of Thomas Scheen, a Belgian journalist and the Africa correspondent for the German newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", his Congolese interpreter Charles Ntiricya and their driver. The three individuals were abducted on 4 November in Rutshuru by members of the Coalition of Congolese Patriotic Resistance (Parti des Résistants Congolais, PARECO).

Meanwhile, in a separate development, JED has learned that Alfred Munyamaliza Bitwahiki Njonjo, a journalist and presenter of the Kinyarwanda-language news programme on community radio station Radio Communautaire Ushikira (RACOU), previously reported killed in crossfire between the National Congress for the Defence of the People (Congrès national pour la défense du peuple, CNDP) and Maï Maï militias of the PARECO in Rutshuru, is in fact alive. In a phone interview with JED, Njonjo and RACOU journalist Faustin Tawite said that, fearing for their lives, they took refuge in a United Nations Mission (MONUC) camp on 7 November.

JED expresses serious concern for the safety of journalists and media personnel, both Congolese and foreign, who are caught in the conflict that plagues eastern DRC. The organisation asks the MONUC to use all the means at its disposal to ensure the safety of media professionals carrying out their duties.

Updates the Njonjo case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/98292

Updates the Tawite and Scheen cases: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/98289

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