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DRC: Journalist released under amnesty law after 3-year detention

Journalist in Danger (JED) is relieved to learn that Patrick Palata was released on amnesty on Monday, 21 April 2014. Palata is the director of Canal Congo Télévision (CCTV), a station based in Matadi, province of Bas-Congo, in southeast DRC. The journalist had spent more than three years in detention in the military detention centre of Ndolo in Kinshasa. Palata had be persecuted for “participating in an insurrectionist movement,” as a result of his alleged contact with former DRC Armed Forces Officer Faustin Munene, who defected and then went into exile in the Republic of Congo (or Congo-Brazzaville) in 2011.

The journalist was freed at the same time as others who were persecuted for the same case, three months after the president of the DRC passed an amnesty law. The release of the detainees was announced on 19 April 2014 by Madame Wivine Mumba, Minister of Justice and Human Rights.

Patric Palata was detained on 6 January 2011 in Matadi and sentenced on appeal to twenty years in prison, on 8 April 2012, by military court in Matadi.

While acknowledging Palata's release, JED would like to highlight that two other journalists, Fortunat Kasongo and John Mpoyi, have been detained for more than two years in the Ndolo military prison on charges similar to “participation in an insurrectionist movement,” and should also benefit from the amnesty law.

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