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Journalist Robert Shemahamba released after 10 days in custody, another journalist reported missing

(RSF/IFEX) - 27 December 2010 - Reporters Without Borders learned with huge relief of the release today of Robert Shemahamba, director of Radio-Télévision Communautaire Mitumba (RTCM), broadcasting in Uvira in Sud-Kivu province. He had been held in custody by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) since 17 December and was transferred on 24 December from Uvira to Bukavu.

"I thank God and all those who lobbied for my release. The 10 days in detention were a nightmare. In Uvira, I was put in a cell without any light. The conditions were poor and I had to protest. I was then transferred to Bukavu after a week. I think I will recover here for a while before going back to Uvira," Shemahamba told Reporters Without Borders.

Meanwhile, there is continuing uncertainty about the fate of another journalist, Dominique Kalonzo, a correspondent in Uvira for the privately-owned Radio Maendeleo, based in Bukavu. The journalist is being sought by the ANR in connection with the same case as Shemahamba. After going into hiding for a week, he was reportedly involved in an altercation in Uvira on 26 December with ANR agents sent to arrest him. He was injured and taken to a health centre in the city. According to information obtained by Journalist in danger (JED), a partner organisation of Reporters Without Borders in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kalonzo left the hospital in the company of two individuals who came to visit him. Nothing has been heard of him since. Neither his family nor his colleagues know if he has been abducted or is in hiding.

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