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JED deplores suspension of Radio Liberté, calls for restraint

UPDATE: Two dangerous weeks for media in eastern provinces (RSF, 15 May 2012)

(JED/IFEX) - Kinshasa, 14 May 2012 - Journaliste en danger (JED) has learned that Radio Liberté, a privately-owned Butembo-based station, has been suspended for three months. Butembo's mayor ordered the station's suspension after it aired statements by the leader of an armed militia group and a mutineer who called for armed revolt against the Congolese armed forces (FARDC). Following the suspension order, several journalists were arrested and one, Pili Pili Kasayi, remains detained in a police cell.

JED deplores the decision to close the station. It is the organisation's belief that all actions that serve to silence the press or remove a space for free expression are reprehensible and harm democracy.

JED also calls on journalists and media outlets to act responsibly. "When a country is at war, journalists have to be very careful and demonstrate a great deal of restraint, if only for their own safety," said JED Secretary-General Tshivis Tshivuadi. "Nevertheless, this incident could have been handled quite differently, with a warning or less severe penalty," he added.

Please note this is an abridged translation.
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