Urgent Call for the Release of Detained Congolese Journalist Stanis Bujakera
October 3, 2023
Cited Article by Human Rights Watch
HRRC advocates for the release of renowned Congolese journalist Stanis Bujakera, detained for over three weeks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, facing up to 15 years in jail on dubious charges.
Congolese journalist Stanis Bujakera, who works for international media outlets and is the deputy director of the Congolese online news outlet Actualite was detained in Kinshasa due to suspicions of spreading false information about the killing of opposition politician Cherubin Okende in an article published by Jeune Afrique. Bujakera, arrested at the Kinshasa airport while traveling to Lubumbashi, was charged with “spreading false information,” “forgery and the use of forged documents,” and “distributing false documents.” Notably, the contested article did not bear Bujakera's name, rendering him legally unaccountable for its content.
Dozens of journalists, activists, and foreign officials have opposed Bujakera's detention, calling on Congolese authorities for the immediate release of Bujakera. Despite the international outcry and objections from press freedom advocates, Bujakera's case underscores growing concerns about the restrictions on media freedom in the Democratic Republic of Congo.