Five journalists who were illegally detained by police officers in Kinshasa on Friday, October 19, were released after 12 hours of interrogation and allowed to return to work on Monday, October 22. The journalists work for a newspaper that was investigating a case of alleged embezzlement by security officials.
Acts of intimidation and aggression against journalists occur regularly in the DRC, which ranked 154 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. On October 17, Reporters Without Borders called on the Congolese authorities to release a journalist working for a local newspaper after she was arrested in Kinshasa on defamation charges on October 10.
Individuals present in the DRC are advised to exercise caution and maintain a low profile at all times.
For various security reasons, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the east and northeast of the country, as well as to the three central Kasaï provinces, due to poor security conditions, including the presence of armed groups and a high risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice should be sought prior to travel.
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