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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CPJ tells Clinton of threat to women journalists in Congo

September 15, 2009

The Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State

Dear Secretary Clinton:

In light of your recent advocacy on behalf of Congolese women during your visit to Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, we are writing to bring to your attention our deep concerns about the safety of three reporters covering women’s issues in Bukavu, south of Goma.

The three reporters, Delphie Namuto and Caddy Adzuba of U.N.-sponsored broadcasting network Radio Okapi and Jolly Kamuntu of local station Radio Maendeleo are members of the South Kivu's Association of Women Journalists (AFEM), which has trained female journalists and presents radio programs spotlighting women's issues, especially in rural areas. The unstable eastern region, which is rich in minerals but devastated by war and atrocities against civilians, including the systematic rape of women, is currently one of Africa’s most dangerous cities for journalists, according to CPJ research. Just three weeks ago, a radio journalist was murdered in Bukavu, the third reporter killed in the city since 2007, and local investigations have not been thorough and transparent in solving the motives and circumstances of the murders, according to CPJ research.

Namuto, Adzuba, and Kamuntu were named in an anonymous text message sent on September 8 to Namuto: “You have a bad habit of interfering in what does not concern you to show that you are untouchable. Now, some of you will die so that you shut up. We’ve just been authorized to start with Kadi, then Kamuntu, then Namuto: a bullet to the head.”

Adzuba, 28, who began her career in 2002 as a presenter with national public broadcaster RTNC and covered issues of disarmament as a field reporter for U.S.-based conflict resolution organization Search for Common Ground, told CPJ she has received at least five menacing calls since September 6. In one instance, the caller said nothing, but held up the phone so she could hear the live radio broadcast of her station, she said. As the first one named to be killed, she is severely traumatized.

Namuto, 35, has been a Radio Okapi reporter since 2003 and is the mother of a 1-year-old girl. Kamuntu, also 35 and eight months pregnant, has been a reporter since 2000. She heads AFEM, and since 2005, she has produced a weekly program on justice that is broadcast on 35 stations in eastern Congo.

Adzuba and Namuto said they were questioned by police on Monday while Kamuntu filed a complaint with the military court on Saturday. In a September 11 letter to Bukavu Attorney General Flory Kabange Numbi, Congolese press freedom group Journaliste En Danger urged authorities to open an investigation and trace the phone number of the caller with mobile carrier Vodacom.

We call on you to impress upon the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo the importance of the safety of human rights defenders, including journalists reporting on the war and its impact on vulnerable sections of the population, particularly women.

Sincerely,

Joel Simon
Executive Director

xSeptember 15, 2009

The Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Via facisimile +1 (202) 647-2283

Dear Secretary Clinton:

In light of your recent advocacy on behalf of Congolese women during your visit to Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, we are writing to bring to your attention our deep concerns about the safety of three reporters covering women’s issues in Bukavu, south of Goma.

The three reporters, Delphie Namuto and Caddy Adzuba of U.N.-sponsored broadcasting network Radio Okapi and Jolly Kamuntu of local station Radio Maendeleo are members of the South Kivu's Association of Women Journalists (AFEM), which has trained female journalists and presents radio programs spotlighting women's issues, especially in rural areas. The unstable eastern region, which is rich in minerals but devastated by war and atrocities against civilians, including the systematic rape of women, is currently one of Africa’s most dangerous cities for journalists, according to CPJ research. Just three weeks ago, a radio journalist was murdered in Bukavu, the third reporter killed in the city since 2007, and local investigations have not been thorough and transparent in solving the motives and circumstances of the murders, according to CPJ research.

Namuto, Adzuba, and Kamuntu were named in an anonymous text message sent on September 8 to Namuto: “You have a bad habit of interfering in what does not concern you to show that you are untouchable. Now, some of you will die so that you shut up. We’ve just been authorized to start with Kadi, then Kamuntu, then Namuto: a bullet to the head.”

Adzuba, 28, who began her career in 2002 as a presenter with national public broadcaster RTNC and covered issues of disarmament as a field reporter for U.S.-based conflict resolution organization Search for Common Ground, told CPJ she has received at least five menacing calls since September 6. In one instance, the caller said nothing, but held up the phone so she could hear the live radio broadcast of her station, she said. As the first one named to be killed, she is severely traumatized.

Namuto, 35, has been a Radio Okapi reporter since 2003 and is the mother of a 1-year-old girl. Kamuntu, also 35 and eight months pregnant, has been a reporter since 2000. She heads AFEM, and since 2005, she has produced a weekly program on justice that is broadcast on 35 stations in eastern Congo.

Adzuba and Namuto said they were questioned by police on Monday while Kamuntu filed a complaint with the military court on Saturday. In a September 11 letter to Bukavu Attorney General Flory Kabange Numbi, Congolese press freedom group Journaliste En Danger urged authorities to open an investigation and trace the phone number of the caller with mobile carrier Vodacom.

We call on you to impress upon the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo the importance of the safety of human rights defenders, including journalists reporting on the war and its impact on vulnerable sections of the population, particularly women.

Sincerely,

Joel Simon
Executive Director

http://cpj.org/2009/09/cpj-tells-clinton-of-threats-to-women-journalists.php

40 comments:

  1. 從人生中拿走友誼,猶如從生活中移走陽光........................................

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

AFEM-SK

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L’Association des Femmes des Médias du Sud Kivu (AFEM-SK) est une organisation à but non lucratif (OBNL) créée en vertu de la loi congolaise du 10 Août 2003. Les membres d’AFEM-SK sont composés de femmes actives dans les médias du Sud-Kivu et les maisons de presse. AFEM-SK est spécialisée dans la production des émissions radio en milieu rurale comme en milieu urbain avec un accent particulier sur les femmes soit à partir de radio-clubs ou dans la position de l'activiste social local. Ce groupe produit également des reportages sur le terrain et envoie des nouvelles à des stations de radio locales. Cette association entretient avec les organisations de presse d'autres partenariats qui facilitent la circulation de magazines et leur diffusion.

Activities

AFEM / SK performs or has performed the following projects with various partners:

- "Reports of sexual violence in the territories of Walungu, Kabare and Uvira" with the support of ISIS WICCE

- Mobilization of rural women and strengthening their capacity for qualitative and quantitative participation in the elections of 2011 and the balance of gender relations in different sectors of community life. With the support of Diakonia

- "Institutional support and media coverage of the activities of V-DAY"

- "Training and professionalism of women journalists" with the support of NED "National Endowment for Democracy" from March 2010 to February 2011.

- "Mobilization of rural women and strengthening their capacity for qualitative and quantitative participation in the elections of 2011 and the balance of gender relations in different sectors of the community. "With the support of Diakonia

- "Reports on gender, good governance and sexual violence in the territories of Kalehe, Uvira and Walungu" with financial support from NCA (Norwegian Church Aid) from May to October 2008.

- "Participation of Women and professionalism of women journalists" with financial support from DIAKONIA. From July 2009 to June 2011

- "Awareness campaign on the fight against sexual violence in the media" with the support of CORDAID.

- "Education for rural women's rights and good governance" with the support of the Swedish organization Diakonia. March 2008 to March 2009 (possible extension until 2010)

- "Reports on gender, good governance and sexual violence in the territories of Kalehe, Uvira and Walungu" with financial support from NCA (Norwegian Church Aid) from May to October 2008.

- "Reports of sexual violence in the territories of Walungu, Kabare and Uvira" with the support of ISIS WICCE, 2008

- Campaign "Challenging the silence: the media against sexual violence" from March 2006 to date with the support of LOLA MORA (radio shows, workshops, advocacy before the International Criminal Court in The Hague)

- "Producing radio within 16 days of activism to fight against sexual violence" with the support of the organization TROCAIRE in December 2007.

- "Awareness of rural women on issues of local elections in the DRC", with the support of the PPI in July 2007

- "Exchange of experience of women in the media in Rwanda and DR Congo" with the support of LOLA MORA organization, 2007.

- "Awareness of rural women in the democratization process in RD.Congo" with the support of the PPI in July 2006 to June 2007
- Institutional support by the Institut Panos Paris from 2006 to 2007

In addition, AFEM / SK offers its services since 2008 for media companies and NGOs (eg in October 2008, covering 80 years of FOMULAC Katana)