This statement was originally published on africafex.org on 11 May 2021.
Journaliste en Danger (JED) is deeply shocked by the murder, on Sunday 9 May 2021 at around 11 p.m., of a journalist by two unidentified armed men in the locality of Kitshanga, Masisi territory, in the province of North Kivu (eastern DR Congo).
According to various testimonies collected by JED, Barthelemy Kubanabandu Changamuka, a journalist and host of a programme entitled “Food Security” broadcast on the Kitshanga Community Radio (CORAKI FM), was attacked in the compound of his home by two armed men in civilian clothes. The assailant shot him at point-blank range, eight times. After committing their crime, the assailants only took the journalist’s mobile phone before fleeing.
Barthelemy Kubanabandu Changamuka, 23, had just presented his programme on food obesity at 7 p.m. As soon as he finished his programme, the journalist was accompanied home by one of his friends. Just as they were about to separate, two armed men appeared from the journalist’s plot. His companion managed to run into the house, while Barthélémy Kubanabandu was curtailed. After being shot eight times, the journalist immediately succumbed to his injuries.
Contacted by JED, his companion and witness to the killing said: “I have the impression that Barthelemy Kubanabandu was being followed by these armed men. So, he was targeted. In the morning, he didn’t want to go to his office. He was hesitating about going to present his programme. He went there anyway. He never told me that he was receiving threats or that he had a problem with people here in Kitshanga. We were surprised to see two armed men in his house in the darkness. They didn’t say anything when they arrived. And when I saw a gun, I ran into the house leaving my friend outside. After killing him with eight bullets in his legs, chest, hands and thighs, these gunmen did not say anything. They just took his mobile phone.”
For JED, a serious investigation must be immediately launched to clarify the circumstances of this murder and to punish the perpetrators.
JED believes that this urgent investigation by the new political and security authorities of the province would be a strong signal in the fight against insecurity that prevails in this province where a state of siege has just been decreed by the President of the Republic in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, which have been plagued by unprecedented violence for several years due to the presence of multiple armed groups.
Members of AFEX:
Africa Freedom of Information Centre
Association for Media Development in South Sudan
Center for Media Studies and Peace Building
Collaboration on International ICT Policy in Eastern and Southern Africa (CIPESA)
Freedom of Expression Institute
Gambia Press Union (GPU)
Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda
Institute for Media and Society
International Press Centre
Journaliste en danger
Media Foundation for West Africa
Media Institute of Southern Africa
Media Rights Agenda
West African Journalists Association
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Source: MEDIA FEED