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JED urges government to take action in response to death threats received by journalist from pro-opposition TV station

(JED/IFEX) - Journaliste en danger (JED) is gravely concerned for the safety of Eliezer Thambwe, a journalist with the Kinshasa-based pro-opposition TV station Radio Lisanga Télévision (RLTV). JED has learned that since 2 December 2011, Thambwe has received a series of anonymous death threats by phone.

In the course of a television programme called "Support for Etienne Tshisekedi", which he hosted, Thambwe expressed his support for the opposition candidate in the current presidential election. Tshisekedi leads the opposition party Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).

On 2 December, around 9pm, Thambwe received several phone calls in which anonymous callers threatened him with death. One of the callers told him: "You saw how the candidate that you support lost. We now ask that you leave the country immediately. We retain power and if you should ignore this request then start preparing your coffin." The threats followed the independent electoral commission's publication of partial election results on 28 November.

Contacted by JED on 6 December, Thambwe told the organisation he had received another call on 4 December in which an anonymous caller accused him of working for the opposition.

JED asks the government to take these death threats seriously and to inquire with mobile phone companies in order to identify the callers who repeatedly threatened Thambwe.

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