Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

New president, new media rules?

Will the departure of Joseph Kabila – who remains in an alliance of convenience with the new president, Félix Tshisekedi – loosen the grip on the DRC’s media and journalists? As in 2017, the DRC was again the sub-Saharan African country where RSF registered the most press freedom violations in 2018. Violence, intimidation, arbitrary arrests, media closures and the ransacking of media outlets constitute a very hostile environment for journalists. The freedom to inform is also curtailed online by Internet cuts or the blocking of social networks, as was the case during the latest presidential election. The intelligence services often silence journalists or close media outlets arbitrarily in response to criticism of the government. The frequent violence goes completely unpunished and those responsible for the murders of ten journalists during the Kabila years have never been brought to justice. In his inaugural address, the new president said he wanted to turn the media into a real fourth estate. Much work will be needed. The adoption of new legislation to replace the 1996 law criminalizing press offences is much needed and would be considered as an essential first step.

154
in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

0

154 in 2018

Global score

+0.11

51.60 in 2018

  • 1
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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