Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

After promises, time for action

Press freedom violations – including arrests, attacks, threats and ransacking or closures of media outlets – continue at an alarming level although there was a slight letup when the new president, Félix Tshisekedi, took office in January 2019. The year was particularly bad in the provinces hit by the Ebola epidemic, where a journalist was murdered and several others were threatened. Community radio stations that were threatened for broadcasting Ebola prevention messages received no support from the authorities and organizations in charge of combatting the epidemic. 
 
The environment for media personnel continues to be extremely hostile and the new president’s pledge to turn the media into “a real fourth estate” is unlikely to be realised in the absence of concrete measures. The adoption of new legislation to replace the 1996 law criminalizing press offences, and the creation of a mechanism for protecting and securing journalists would seem to be essential first steps. Without firm action, there can be no hope of improvement after two decades of constant abuses against media personnel. Under the previous president, Joseph Kabila, violence against journalists went completely unpunished and became increasingly common. Ten journalists were murdered during the Kabila years without any of the killers being brought to justice. The freedom to inform was also curtailed online by frequent Internet cuts or by blocking access to social media, as was the case during the most recent presidential election.

150
in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

+4

154 in 2019

Global score

-2.62

51.71 in 2019

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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