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Congolese journalist found alive in forest, 72 hours after being kidnapped

Journalist in Danger (JED) is relieved to learn that Sagesse Kamwira – a journalist for Canal Congo Télévision-Radio Liberté Kinshasa – has been found, after having been kidnapped for three days.

According to testimonies gathered by JED, Kamwira was found on 31 October at around 7pm in the Visika Mabuku forest, approximately 60 km from Beni, by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the National Congolese Police. The FARDC and the police had been deployed to search for Kamwira, shortly after Jinnah Ivogha, director of Radio Liberté/Beni received a phone call from the journalist, saying that she was abandoned in the forest.

Kamwira was kidnapped by a group of six unidentified armed individuals. Two women tied the journalist up before throwing her into Loulo river. Kamwira was able to save herself, and shortly afterwards was noticed by a farmer, who helped put her in contact with the radio station.

"After having found her, the FARDC and the police immediately took her to a hospital, where she is currently under medical supervision. Sagesse Kamwira was accused by her abductors of possessing photos and sound recordings of a group of criminals – now under arrest – who were associated with the murder of a merchant in Beni. Kamwira was also accused of having denounced the presence of a group of criminals in Beni, several days before she was kidnapped", the director of Radio Liberté de Beni told JED.


Kamwira had been phoned on 29 October 2013 by an unknown individual, asking her to report on an event regarding the Tax Inspector of Beni. After informing her colleagues, Kamwira went to go report on the event. Later that evening, the journalist sent a text message to her radio station, saying that she was in the hands of her abductors.

Please note that this is an abridged translation.

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