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DR Congo prosecutor requests 20 year jail sentence for journalist

by Derek Andrews
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A prosecutor in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) requested on Friday a 20-year sentence in jail for Stanis Bujakera, a journalist on trial for an article implicating army intelligence within the loss of life of an opposition politician, Chérubin Okende.

Bujakera was arrested final yr on September 8 and is going through expenses, together with spreading false info. Bujakera is a reporter for Jeune Afrique and Reuters. His arrest and trial have been based mostly on a report by Jeune Afrique claiming the loss of life of Okende was a potential homicide and never suicide, as reported by the federal government. The report additionally revealed a confidential observe written by the inner safety division of the Nationwide Intelligence Company to its common administrator.

Article 211 of the DR Congo Penal Code prohibits people from deliberately sharing false information that’s more likely to disturb peace. Final yr, the DR Congo parliament handed a brand new media legislation. Underneath the brand new legislation, authorities can imprison journalists for sharing “false” info electronically. Article 360 of the new Digital code gives for a one- to six-month imprisonment time period and a nice for dissemination of false info towards an individual via social networks.

Following the prosecutor’s request, varied human rights teams referred to as on the federal government to launch Bujakera instantly and unconditionally. Among the many teams are Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. Jeune Afrique has additionally posted a video of its staff on x (previously Twitter) calling for Bujakera’s speedy launch.

Amnesty Worldwide has issued a press release in regards to the detention of Bujakera, with Deputy Regional Director Sarah Jackson saying that:

The discharge of Stanis Bujakera is properly overdue. His continued arbitrary detention is tantamount to judicial harassment, supposed to ship a chilling message to different journalists and all free voices within the DRC. This travesty should finish. DRC authorities should instantly launch Stanis Bujakera. President Tshisekedi and his authorities should guarantee the discharge of Stanis Bujakera and media freedom, in addition to uphold the nation’s worldwide human rights obligations and deal with the failings of the judicial system that result in such injustices too typically.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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