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JED calls on government to halt security services' interference in journalists' work

(JED/IFEX) - 3 May 2011 - As JED marks World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2011, the organisation wishes to draw the attention of the public and the Congolese authorities to the fragile press freedom situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the lead-up to presidential elections.

JED calls on the government to introduce concrete safety measures to protect journalists from growing political intolerance and increasing interference by security services in the work of media professionals. JED further calls for the rapid creation and implementation of a broadcast regulatory body, led by unbiased and competent individuals, to oversee the regulation of the media during this crucial period.

On 30 April, the national elections agency (CENI) announced the planning of general elections for the month of November. Presidential and legislative elections were scheduled for 28 November. The media is set to play a major role during this period and the risk of seeing more press freedom attacks are correspondingly high.

JED is already concerned about the constant deterioration of journalists' working conditions, especially in parts of the country where a rise of political intolerance is noticeable, as well as increased interference by political and administrative authorities, and security services, in the work of media professionals.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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