The Socialists and Democrats Group of the European Parliament strongly condemn the anti-democratic move of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) of the Democratic Republic of Congo against the press on Tuesday 13th October in the studios of the radio "Le messager du peuple" (Congolese province of South Kivu). The arbitrary and unjustified arrest of three journalists following a broadcast produced by a banned radio in Burundi is simply unacceptable.
Gianni Pittella, president of the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament and Maria Arena, socialist MEP and spokesperson of the S&D Group for conflict minerals, have both declared:
"We call for immediate and unconditional release of all the journalists arrested by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), including the Burundian journalist/technician from the African Public Radio (RPA), Egide Mwenero.
"We call on the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to show adequate solidarity towards the Burundians in exile and to respect press freedom. Both the burying of information and the intimidation practices towards journalists are intolerable.
"The respect of fundamental freedoms and Human Rights is the necessary pre-condition for any type of political and economic cooperation between the European Union and the DRC."