A new report by the Human Rights Watch group shows that DRC journalists have suffered increased levels of violence over the past year, resulting in an Alarming Crisis of Impunity for Crime against Journalists. According to Reporters Without Borders, in 2020 there were 115 cases of press freedom violations, including detentions and threats. In addition, armed groups have attacked journalists in the eastern region of the country and rape is becoming a weapon of war.
Conflicts can be deadly.
Across the DRC, women are targeted and assaulted. Rape is a common weapon of war and gang violence in the region is endemic. In overcrowded areas, protests and clashes can turn deadly. Pasquini’s instincts to trust a local driver led him to stop filming and hide his car windows to avoid being spotted.
Ensure journalist safety
Despite these grave problems, journalists continue to report on the state of press freedom in DRC. While there are some reforms that are being made to increase press freedom, there are still many journalists in the region that are being murdered and raped. The DRC government should prioritize reforms and create a high-level monitoring mechanism to ensure the safety of journalists.
Reports of violence against journalists
There are also numerous reports of violence against journalists. The RFI correspondent, Dek’son Assani Kamango, was recently arrested on charges of insulting the authority in the Maniema region. In Kasai Oriental province, Christine Tshibuyi was a victim of a smear campaign. Fortunately, the coronavirus outbreak did not result in a surge in violence against journalists.
Addressing issue of independence
Despite the DRC’s democratically elected president, the situation of press freedom is grave. In January 2019, the DRC’s government’s new president, Felix Tshisekedi, took office, has not yet addressed the issue of press freedom. In November 2018, a report of 115 cases of crimes against journalists in DRC highlighted an alarming crisis of impunity for the perpetrators of the attacks against them.
Give priority to government
As the DRC’s lack of press freedom legislation continues to threaten the safety of journalists, the crisis has pushed the government to prioritize reforms and enhance protection of journalists. Several journalists have been displaced from their homes and threatened by violence and are afraid to return home. While the situation is currently deteriorating in the DRC, RSF and JED called for immediate action to fight impunity for the crimes against journalists.
Problems not addressed
The DRC’s current situation is dire. The country’s current president, Felix Tshisekedi, has not addressed press freedom issues. Several journalists have been detained in response to complaints from provincial governors. In addition, a journalist with a large number of online followers has been sued by a former minister. Furthermore, armed groups have attacked journalists, causing them to hide and threatening them.
Failure of the DRC government
The DRC’s government’s failure to address the crisis of impunity for crimes against journalists has led to further crises for the region. The country’s president has proclaimed a state of siege and declared that all attacks on journalists are “illegal”. Meanwhile, the government and RSF have urged Kinshasa to prioritize press freedom and enact reforms to protect journalists.
Strengthen the security of journalists
Violence continues to threaten the safety of journalists in the DRC. The RSF and JED called for the government to prioritize reforms in this area and to strengthen the protection of journalists. They also called on the government to strengthen the protection of journalists. The crisis of impunity against journalists in DRC is a severe concern for all the media in the region. There is a need for the DRC to ensure that it does.
The lack of legislation in the DRC makes freedom of the press in the country vulnerable to attacks. In the DRC, there are no laws on the freedom of the press in the country, but there are some steps journalists can take to protect themselves. They should take care to stay safe and avoid risky situations that may threaten their lives. If they do, they will be able to protect their families and the future of their country.