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Two journalists detained for reporting prison escape

(JED/IFEX) – Kinshasa, 29 November 2010 – JED condemns the illegal detention of Lambert Yuma and Chris Lumbu, radio producer and reporter, respectively, with the community broadcaster Radiotélévision Alfajiri in Likasi, Katanga province, southwestern DR Congo.

JED affirms the innocence of the two journalists and calls on provincial authorities to release them immediately and unconditionally.

Yuma and Lumbu were arrested on 28 November at the Likasi prosecutor's office and charged with "breaching state security".

According to JED sources, Yuma gave an interview to Radio France Internationale (RFI) about a prison break at the Buluwo penitentiary outside of Likasi on the night of 26 November. Lumbu filed a report on the break from outside the prison the next day, on 27 November. The report was never broadcast however, because intelligence officials got hold of the tape and erased it the same day.

Both men were summoned to the Likasi prosecutor's office on 28 November and questioned at length about the RFI report. They were later taken into custody and held in detention overnight, where they remained at press time.

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