Written by Gael Masengi
Freedom For Journalist (FFJ), a country based media dog watch condemned in the strongest terms the crackdown and systematic chasse on streets newspapers vendors by security force on January 11th and 12th. According to information obtained from eye witnesses, the organisation stated that two pickup trucks full of hyper equipped policemen barged into the famous papers sale point of “Place Victoire” in Kinshasa before proceeding, without warning, to disperse the vendors, confiscate by force newspapers and arrest other. Newspapers sales have since been paralysed at the entire city.
Police accuses the vendors of causing the crowd to gather [and discuss politics], which is forbidden since the publication of elections results by the electoral body CENI. In Kinshasa, the tension is high, amplified the supposedly re-election of Joseph Kabila, contested by international observers, strongly rejected by the opposition and the Catholic Church, a powerful and influential institution in a Christian country. Newspapers vendors on their side have decided to go on strike in protest against the police’s cowardice actions.
The organisation invites police hierarchy to end this kind of operations which not only tarnish its image already damaged but also to release the detained vendors.