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Journalist evacuated from city after receiving serious death threats

(JED/IFEX) - On 17 August 2010, Michel Tshiyoyo, a journalist with Radio Télévision Amazone (RTA), a privately-owned broadcaster based in Kananga, capital of West Kasai Kasaï province in central DR Congo, was evacuated from Kanange by the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) after receiving multiple anonymous death threats.

JED condemns these threats and holds the West Kasai provincial authorities responsible for the journalist's well-being. According to testimony obtained by JED, Tshiyoyo has been receiving deaths threats over the phone since 15 August from anonymous sources believed to be close to Trésor Kapuku, the provincial governor of West Kasai. The threats are related to clashes that pitted the governor's aides against the population of Lwandanda, a village located 25 km from the city of Kananga.

Tshiyoyo is believed to be the only journalist who took photos at the scene in Lwandanda when Kapuku was violently assaulted and one of his bodyguards lynched to death by the townspeople. Since the incident, the journalist has received numerous messages and threats, demanding he return the images he has in his possession.

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