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IFEX calls on President Kabila to address recent death threats against JED

(IFEX) - 9 September 2011 - The following is a letter of appeal from IFEX to Congolese President Joseph Kabila addressing the recent death threats received by the president and secretary-general of Journaliste en Danger (JED), an IFEX member:

President Joseph Kabila
Kinshasa
Democratic Republic of Congo

6 September 2011

Dear President Kabila,

We, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), are deeply concerned over the recent death threats made against the president of Journaliste en Danger (JED), Donat M'Baya Tshimanga, and Secretary-General Tshivis Tshivuadi.

On 26 August 2011, the two men received an email threatening them and their families. Despite the statements made in the email, JED is not involved in political activities nor is it biased toward any particular political party.

JED, a long-time IFEX member since 1999, is an internationally respected organisation that for over 12 years has fought to defend freedom of expression and the safety of journalists. Their contribution to our international network is appreciated and their level of professionalism and commitment to good journalism is acknowledged.

We are concerned that this intimidation is a sign of the escalating tensions in the run-up to the upcoming general elections on 28 November.

As we are sure you are aware M. Le President, the role of the media to report on the activities of elected government officials must be protected and is an indication of the health of any democratic society. As the country prepares for the general elections, we urge you to ensure that JED is able to work freely and without fear from harassment or persecution as they perform their crucial role.

Sincerely,

Annie Game
IFEX Executive Director
IFEX Clearing House
555 Richmond Street W. Suite 1101, P.O.B. 407 Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3B1
Tel: (416) 515-9622 ext. 227
Fax: (416) 515-7879
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.ifex.org

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