The correspondent journalist of RFI and RTBF in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Patient Ligodi was covering a peaceful march organized by the Lamuka Coalition of the Fayulu-Muzito tandem this Wednesday in Masina, commune in the east of Kinshasa, when he was taken to party and arrested by the police with astonishing violence. The journalist was covering an opposition demonstration banned by the governor of the city of Kinshasa.
This popular demonstration was organized in Kinshasa and in the provinces by the leaders of the opposition platform Lamuka to oppose a possible postponement of the elections scheduled for the end of 2023 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the politicization of the Electoral Commission. independent national (Céni). Our colleague indicates that the police were already on edge when he arrived at the site of the demonstration. Patient Ligodi explains that the police knocked him down, took his phone, his recorder and his watch. After Martin Fayulu intervened, the police returned his phone and recorder to him, but they continued to beat him and left with his watch.
Patient Ligodi then tried to do his job and follow the procession of the demonstration but when he tried to conduct an interview with Martin Fayuly, clearly identified as a journalist, the police official on the spot gave the order to stop him manu militari.
They dragged me on the ground, brutalized me, and put me in the back of a police vehicle. They sat on top of me. There were two of them on top of me. They trampled on me. They insulted me and searched my pockets
The journalist was forcibly taken into the police vehicle and released a few minutes later after the government intervened. THE‘NGO Journalist in Danger (JED) “vehemently denounces this police violence and urges the government and police authorities to punish the perpetrators of this act publicly inflicted in full view of the journalist Patient Ligodi”. For JED, nothing justifies the use of violence against this correspondent who did not however commit any offense by covering this demonstration and the actions of the security forces had nothing to do with the work of the journalist. “
The Minister of Communication and Media, Patrick Muyaya Katembwe, who is also government spokesperson, reacted on Twitter : “We condemn with the last energy this police blunder. I spoke about it with the police chief Dieudonné Amuli. An investigation is in progress and the authors will be severely sanctioned. The safety and the physical integrity of the journalists is a priority for us”.
The editorial staff of the RTBF provides support to this colleague.
#RDC : We condemn with the last energy this police blunder. I spoke about it with the police chief Dieudonné Amuli. An investigation is underway and the perpetrators will be severely sanctioned. The safety and physical integrity of journalists is a priority for us. https://t.co/GXIp9agIT4 pic.twitter.com/TKPhNXBORP
– Patrick Muyaya (@PatrickMuyaya) September 15, 2021