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Journalist freed after being held three days on spurious charges

(JED/IFEX) - Journaliste en Danger (JED) welcomes the conditional release on 12 April 2011 of journalist Samy Mbeto, a reporter with Tshikapa-based community radio station Radio Kilimanjaro. Mbeto was detained for three days on charges of "insult and defamation to a political figure" after he cautioned listeners to his programme to be wary of a recent surge in election campaign "associations" being set up prematurely by certain politicians before the legally permitted period. No evidence was produced by the prosecutor to support the charges.

Mbeto, who hosts the local morning show on Radio Kilimanjaro, was arrested and taken into custody on 9 April on orders from the prosecutor's office following a complaint by a local politician. The complaint was later withdrawn.

Mbeto was released following payment of US$110 bail. He is not allowed to leave the province and must report to the prosecutor's office twice a week.

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