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JED calls for investigation into Radio Star journalist's death

(JED/IFEX) - Journaliste en danger (JED) calls on representatives of the UN Mission in the Congo (MONUC) and Bukavu provincial authorities to work together in investigating the exact circumstances of the death, on 23 August 2009, of Radio Star journalist Bruno Koko Chirambiza. Radio Star is a privately-owned radio station in Bukavu, the capital of the eastern province of Sud Kivu.

JED regrets the fact that the journalist was buried the day after his death and without an autopsy to determine the exact nature of the murder, which would have been a good start to identifying the perpetrators as well as the motive behind the attack.

According to information obtained by JED, Chirambiza was walking home with a friend from a wedding at around 12:00 a.m. (local time), when the two were attacked by eight plainclothes people approximately 5 km from the journalist's home. While Chirambiza's friend was able to escape, Chirambiza was pursued by the attackers and stabbed in the chest. He died after being rushed to hospital by persons who heard agonising cries.

JED expresses profound consternation over the murder, which brings the total of journalists killed in mysterious circumstances in Bukavu to three: two Radio Okapi journalists, Serge Maheshe and Didace Namujimbo, were killed on 13 June 2007 and 21 November 2008, respectively.

JED demands that Bukavu provincial authorities take seriously the investigation into the murder, instead of simply attributing it to the general insecurity that reigns in Sud Kivu. If not, they risk supporting the impunity of those who openly attack journalists and media outlets because of their work.
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