Africa News

PPF is concerned over the blocking of two radio stations in Congo

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Augustin Matata Ponyo, Prime Minister

Democratic Republic of the Congo to express concerned over the blocking of Radio France Internationale (a French station) and Radio Okapi (a station operated by the United Nations mission in Congo.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter urged the government of Congo to restore the signals of these two radio stations without postpone and to stop violating freedom of information.

According to Journaliste en danger and Reporters Without Borders, the radio stations began to block without any warning or explanation on November 4th, the eve of a meeting that had been scheduled by the main opposition parties in Kinshasa although the Kinshasa provincial government has banned all demonstrations ever since those held on 19 and 20 September, which the police dispersed with a great deal of violence.

Upon asking about the reason of blocking the Radio France Internationale information minister Lambert Mende accused it of acting as “echo chamber and press attaché” of the organizers of an opposition meeting. When pressed about Radio Okapi, he referred the questioner to the foreign ministry on the grounds that it is a UN station.

Ever since the electoral process stalled and changed into a trial of strength between government and opposition, media outlets that interview opposition politicians have been exposed to the possibility of closure or reprisals of other kinds.