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JED deplores ANR raid on Mbuji-Mayi station, assault of staff

(JED/IFEX) - On 12 November 2009 at 7:00 a.m, a group of officers from the National Intelligence Agency (Agence nationale des renseignements, ANR) and the Congolese Intelligence Services (Direction générale des renseignements des services spéciaux, DGRS) broke into the studios of Radiotélévision de l'Eglise évangélique libre d'Afrique (RTEELDA), brutalising journalists and other employees in the studio. RTEELDA is a religious broadcaster based in Mbuji-Mayi.

Jeef Tshidibi, Joseph Kongo and Tosta Ngoyi, the RTEELDA director, head of programming and technician, respectively, were arrested and questioned at ANR offices for almost 10 hours.

RTEELDA is accused of criticising Kasai-Oriental Governor Alphonse Ngoyi Kasanji during the broadcast of the show "Tuibakayi Kasaï" ("Building Kasai"). According to the broadcaster, the host of the show was speaking about the deteriorating conditions of urban roads.

Contacted by Journaliste en Danger (JED), Tshidibi said they were summoned by the intelligence services to deliver the host, Vincent Tshamala, who has since gone into hiding.

JED is demanding that governor Kasanji stop the abusive use of the security services and the harassment of journalists.

"There is no legislation in the DRC that gives the ANR a mandate to interfere with the press," said JED, which believes that this abuse of power must come to an end.

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