Unesco demands DRC act over journalist murder
KINSHASA — Unesco’s director-general Irina Bokova on Monday urged authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo to bring the murderers of a television journalist to justice.
Marcel Lubala was killed at his home in Mbuji-Mayi, central DRC, on the night of November 14-15 by armed men.
The 59-year-old had worked for the RTNC MbujiMayi television channel that is part of state broadcaster RTNC.
“I condemn the murder of Marcel Lubala. Journalists must be able to do their work informing citizens without fearing for their lives,” said Bokova in a statement published in Paris.
“I trust the authorities will conduct a thorough investigation and that those responsible for this crime will be brought to justice.”
According to local authorities in the Kasai-Oriental province, where Mbuji-Mayi is located, an investigation has been opened into the murder and five people have been arrested. But various charities and media rights organisations decried the fact the murder took place during a curfew between 22:00 and 05:00, when local security forces were supposed to be in control of the town.
Following the murder, local activists Journalists in Danger (JED) denounced “the increase in targeted attacks against the press”.
Joseph Tshilunde, president of the national union of DRC’s media (UNPC), told AFP that Lubala was the “16th journalist killed in DRC in 10 years and too often the perpetrators and organisers are not sanctioned”.
DRC has been wracked by recent violence sparked by a political crisis brought on by the postponing of a presidential election which had been due to take place before the end of the year. — AFP