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Kinshasa, February 27, 2024—Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) must investigate and hold accountable the soldiers who attacked journalist Lucien Lyenda while he covered a demonstration against insecurity in the country’s southeastern Tanganyika province, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.

On Sunday, three DRC armed forces soldiers attacked Lyenda, a reporter for the privately owned news website Moba Actualités Médias, as he reported on a demonstration against worsening security in the town of Kirungu in the Moba Territory of Tanganyika province, Lyenda and local journalist Matthias Makolovera told CPJ via messaging app and phone. As one soldier held Lyenda by the neck, the other two punched him and hit him with rifles butts, he told CPJ. As a result of the attack, Lyenda said he had a swollen face, neck pain, and sought treatment at a local clinic for a small wound on his head.

“It is a brutal irony that soldiers beat DRC journalist Lucien Lyenda as he worked to cover a public demonstration against insecurity in the country’s Tanganyika province. Security forces should be protecting members of the public, not attacking them,” said Angela Quintal, head of CPJ’s Africa program, in New York. “When security forces attack journalists working to report on events of public interest, like demonstrations, it sends a chilling message that the government does not want people to be informed and is willing to accept violence as a tool of censorship.”

According news reports, three people were killed during the protest, and the administrator of Moba territory, Victor Kanfwa Kyongo, accused local journalists of using their media outlets to call for demonstrations, adding that they were wanted by the intelligence services. The reports did not name the journalists, their outlets, or give details about the alleged broadcasts or publications.

When CPJ contacted Kanfwa by phone, he declined to comment further, saying that he had already spoken too much. CPJ’s calls to Tanganyika provincial governor Julie Ngungua went unanswered.

Source of original article: Committee to Protect Journalists (
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