Sign up for weekly updates

Editor arrested by security agents

(JED/IFEX) - Kinshasa, 15 March 2010 - JED condemns the arrest and ill treatment of Radio Télévision Bangu head of programming Mohamed Lukebana by national security officers in Kimpese, about 145 km from the town of Matadi in Bas Congo province, southwest of Kinshasa. JED has noticed a rather disturbing trend of harassment of journalists in Bas Congo province by intelligence agents and is appealing to provincial authorities to put an end to this intimidation.

A security agent arrived at Radio Télévision Bangu station at around 11:00 a.m. on 10 March to escort Lukebana to the local offices of the Agence Nationale des Renseignements (ANR - the national intelligence agency). There, Lukebana was questioned for almost two hours before being arrested and taken to the Kimpese detention centre; two days later, he was transferred again to Mbanza Ngungu detention centre, where he remained until the next evening.

Lukebana was accused of "broadcasting false information liable to threaten state security" after it was reported on the 5 March edition of Radio Télévision Bangu's evening news that Angolan troops had occupied a number of villages in Bas Congo province.

Lukebana told JED over the phone that a few hours before being transferred to Mbanza Ngungu, he was taken by force to the station and forced to issue a retraction of the item. "I told them that in my current state (as a prisoner) I could not comply, so they forced my colleagues to do it instead."

Lukebana was finally released on 13 March after Radio Télévision Bangu editors paid his US$150 bail.

Latest Tweet:

Australia: Read the submission of @withMEAA about the proposed Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (…

Get more stories like this

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