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Radio journalist murdered in northern province of DRC

Herno D./Flickr/http://bit.ly/1nLuBxl

This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 21 April 2015.

Reporters Without Borders is appalled by radio journalist Soleil Balanga's brutal murder in Monkoto, in the northern province of Equateur. Balanga's throat was cut by an assailant as he was returning home on 16 April from Monkoto community radio, where he worked.

According to Radio Okapi, he was attacked by the son of Monkoto general hospital's supervisor because he broadcast a report referring to the appointment of a new doctor to replace the alleged assaillant's father. The police have arrested the reported killer.

“We condemn this shocking murder and call on the police and justice system to conduct a proper investigation and punish those responsible,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk.

Crimes of violence against journalists are rarely the subject of proper investigations and judicial proceedings in Democratic Republic of Congo. A total of 60 journalists were beaten or threatened in 2013-2014, in some cases by the police, without any investigation aimed at identifying their assailants. The murders of Serge Maheshe, Didace Namujimbo and several others remain to be solved. This impunity encourages more violence against media personnel.

DRC is ranked 150th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.