May 22, 2017

Congolese may be holding Deutsche Welle reporter from Burundi

Antediteste Niragira, Photo: SOS Media Burundi
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about Antediteste Niragira, a Burundian reporter for German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, who went missing after calling his wife two days ago to say he was crossing the land border between Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Antediteste Niragira has been planning to do a report on a refugee camp with many Burundian refugees at Lusenda, a locality about 60 km inside the DRC.

His wife has received no word from him since he called her from the border. According to information obtained by RSF, he has been arrested by the DRC’s National Intelligence Agency (ANR) on the grounds that he did not have a visa.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reached an ANR official in Uvira, a Congolese town on the border, but he refused to answer any questions.

There is no reason for Antediteste Niragira to be in prison, said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. This journalist has broken no law. If the Congolese authorities don’t want to let him into the DRC, they should release him so that he can return home.”

The DRC is ranked 154th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.