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Journalist released after five months in prison

(JED/IFEX) - Kinshasa, 8 September 2010 - Journaliste en Danger (JED) welcomes the 6 September 2010 acquittal of Jullson Eninga, managing director of the private newspaper "Le Journal". The Kinshasa-based newspaper has been banned for the past year.

In the verdict, of which JED was able to obtain a copy, the High Court of Kinshasa/Kalamu found "no establishment in fact and in law of the crime of treason pending before Eninga; he shall be acquitted on all counts."

JED believes this verdict is a major victory for press freedom after five months of unjust imprisonment. The verdict contradicts the statements made a few days earlier by the Minister of Communications and Media, Mr. Mende, who said that "the journalist was prosecuted for collaborating with a proven terrorist group."

On 3 September, JED met Justice Minister Luzolo Bambi Lessa to draw his attention to Eninga's case and the death sentence that was being sought by the public prosecutor.

Eninga had been held since 13 April at the Central Prison and Rehabilitation Centre in Kinshasa (CPRK). His incarceration followed the 11 September 2009 publication of a press release, reprinted from the website of the FDLR (Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda), the Hutu rebel forces operating in the east of the country.

As he was leaving prison on the evening of 7 September, Eninga told JED that he was released without conditions and that he is satisfied with the court's ruling.
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