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Cameraman attacked by supporters of the presidential party

(JED/IFEX) - 8 November 2011 - Freddy Kalume, a cameraman for Radio Télévision Lubumbashi Jua (RTLJ), a private television station based in Lubumbashi and owned by Jean-Claude Muyambo, a former minister and presidential contender, was severely beaten on 7 November 2011 by supporters of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD, presidential party) during clashes between them and supporters of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS, opposition party).

According to information received by JED, Kalume was targeted by the PPRD supporters who went on to beat him and prevented him from taking photographs of the clash that opposed them and supporters of the UDPS. The UDPS supporters had removed a campaign poster for Louis Ntole, the PPRD's federal president and legislative candidate. Kalume received injuries to his head, his clothes were ripped and his camera was confiscated by his attackers.

Contacted by JED, RLTJ director Jacques Vallon said Kalume was saved by police officers who rushed to disperse the protesters. Berthier Kalukangy, a journalist at the same station, was accompanying Kalume but managed to escape. "Kalume was taken to a Lubumbashi hospital; his camera was confiscated," added Vallon.

JED condemns this latest attack against a media professional exercising his profession. The organisation demands that reparations be made and that his attackers be brought to justice.

JED calls on leaders of the political parties contesting the upcoming election to respect the code of conduct that they signed in order to ensure a peaceful election in DRC. The code of conduct commits them to respecting and protecting media professionals exercising their work.

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