This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 18 February 2021.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a thorough investigation into the shooting that injured a radio reporter today in Goma, the capital of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Nord-Kivu province. The person who fired the shot must be identified and brought to justice, RSF says.
Nanou Kazaku, a reporter for Goma-based Radio UB-FM, sustained a gunshot injury while she was covering a protest against the forcible eviction of residents illegally occupying land on the south side of the city.
“She fell right in front of me and I saw she had been hit in the neck,” Radio Colombe reporter Franck Kaky told RSF. He added that it was hard to know where the shot came from because, “the protesters had obtained some guns and there was a lot of shooting between them and the police when we arrived.”
Kazaku was in the operating theatre at Goma’s CBCA Ndosho Hospital at the time of writing and her family had not been given any information about the gravity of her injury.
“We call on the local authorities to carry out a serious and thorough investigation in order to identify and punish the person who fired the shot that hit this journalist in the course of her reporting,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “It is essential that the most violent abuses against journalists do not go unpunished and that their safety is a priority.”
RSF was unable to reach Col. Van Kasongo, the Nord-Kivu provincial police superintendent, or Col. Job Alissa, Goma’s police chief.
RSF and its local partner, Journaliste en Danger (JED), are calling for the rapid appointment of a network of focal points in government agencies and ministries concerned with press freedom, as the first step in the creation of a high-level monitoring and rapid response mechanism to protect and secure Congolese journalists and combat impunity.
The DRC is ranked 154th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.
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Source: MEDIA FEED