Sign up for weekly updates

CAPSULE REPORT: RSF releases report on investigation into the murder of journalists in Bukavu

(RSF/IFEX) - The following is an 18 March 2009 RSF press release:

"Bukavu, murder city": investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu

Reporters Without Borders today releases an investigation report into the murders of journalists in Bukavu, the capital of Sud-Kivu at the easternmost extreme of the Democratic Republic of Congo, almost four months after the latest killing of Didace Namujimbo.

The worldwide press freedom organisation's report identifies failings in the Congolese judicial system involving botched investigations, the trampling of defence rights and grotesque trials that have guaranteed impunity to criminals.

The report also shows that in ten years of war, Bukavu has become a Great Lakes slum, in which weapons circulate freely and traffickers do as they please, and where nobody, except local potentates, can feel safe. At greater risk are journalists, who, because of their investigations of sensitive issues or their personal success - often seen as "impudent" - attract jealousies and hatred.

Journalist Didace Namujimbo, of local Radio Okapi, was shot dead at point blank range just yards from his home on 21 November 2008. Seventeen months earlier, his colleague, Serge Maheshe, the radio station's news editor, was shot dead in the street. Before that, in the early hours of 1 August 2005, Pascal Kabungulu Kibembi, executive secretary of the organisation Inheritors of Justice and vice-president of the Great Lakes Human Rights League (LDGL), was shot dead by armed men who burst into his home.

During its investigations in Kinshasa, Goma and Bukavu, conducted between 16 and 24 December 2008, Reporters Without Borders' delegation met with leaders of the UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), civil and military authorities of Sud-Kivu, staff of Radio Okapi in Bukavu, local journalists and several lawyers, including one engaged by the Namujimbo family.

In its conclusions, Reporters Without Borders calls on the government of the DRC to finally take note of the failures in the Kabungulu and Maheshe cases as well as the concerns surrounding the investigation into the killing of Didace Namujimbo. The organisation also calls on the Congolese Army to stop taking control of investigations and urges authorities in Kinshasa to set up a special judicial commission to shed light on the murders of journalists and human rights activists in Bukavu.

Download the full report in English:

For further information on the Namujimbo case, see:

For further information on the Maheshe case, see:

For further information on the Kabungulu case, see:

Latest Tweet:

Asesinan al periodista Rafael Murúa en #México @article19mex @cencos

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.