Organisation News Reporters Without Borders condemns the government’s announced closure of five opposition radio stations in the Beni region of the eastern province of Nord-Kivu in a communiqué marked by irregularities. This type of measures makes it easier for the intelligence services to move against local media.Information minister Lambert Mendé announced the closures of the stations and the withdrawal of their licences in a communiqué broadcast by Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) on 14 November. The stations are located in a region that is 400 km north of Goma, the provincial capital.The communiqué accused the five stations – RTGB (Radio Télévision Graben Beni), Radio Liberté Beni (RALIB), Radio Télévision Rwanzururu (RTR), Radio Ngoma FM and Radio Furu – of supporting terrorism and conniving with the ADF/NALU rebels.Owned by people affiliated with the opposition, all five stations are used to reporting the views of both ruling party members and members of the opposition.“Coming from one of the highest government levels, these closure orders display a disturbing degree of irregularity in both substance and procedure,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk.“It is hard not to see this as a political attempt to gag opposition radio stations. We call on the information ministry to rescind these orders, which obstruct the Congolese public’s right to pluralist news and information.”The orders violated procedure because, according to the law, it is not the information ministry’s job to announce the closure of radio stations. Any media closure on the grounds of content must be the subject of a procedure involving the Higher Council for Broadcasting and Communication (CSAC), whose duties include regulating the media.This established procedure gives the media concerned a right to respond to charges, which clearly did not happen in this case. The media must also be notified in writing, not by means of a communiqué read out over the air.“We were never formally notified,” Radio Liberté Beni director Jina Ivoha told Reporters Without Borders. “A government is supposed to use written documents. You cannot close a radio station by reading a communiqué. This is politics pure and simple. Our stations have been shut down simply because the government did not like us.”According to testimonies, the communiqué is being enforced on the ground through threats made by the mayor of Beni, Bwanakawa Nyonyi Jean Edmond, as well as ANR agents.The communiqué read out on the air by RTNC was also inaccurate. It listed Radio Ngoma FM as one of the stations to be closed although it stopped broadcasting nearly six month ago for lack of funds, long before the resurgence in atrocities by the AFD/NALU rebels in the Beni region two months ago.Closure and confusionThe communiqué also mentioned a radio station that does not exist – “Radio Furu.” There is a radio station in the Furu district of Butembo (a city 54 km north of Beni) that is called Radio Espoir FM but it has not stopped operating. One of its representatives, Léon Tsongo, said: “The information ministry closed ‘Radio Furu’ of Beni, not Radio Espoir FM of Butembo, so we think it does not concern us.”The National Intelligence Agency (ANR) has moved quickly to execute the closures albeit in a somewhat confused manner.ANR officials arrived at Radio Liberté Butembo on 15 November with the intention of closing it because they confused it with Radio Liberté Beni, which was named in the communiqué. They nonetheless returned to Radio Liberté Butembo this morning and this time they did cut short its broadcasts and confiscate equipment.Radio Liberté Butembo manager Ulrich Muyeye said the government took issue with the fact that the station broadcast an opposition politician’s comment on a speech by Nord-Kivu’s governor on the massacres in the city of Beni.Later in the day, after a mediation meeting, the material was returned to the radio which was allowed to broadcast again.Germaine Mwanza and El Katé Maganiryo, two journalists with Radio Graben Kasindi (located 80 km from Beni, near the Ugandan border), were arrested by ANR officers on 14 November and were held for 48 hours in an ANR detention centre.Shortly after their arrest, Radio Graben Kasindi was illegally closed, probably because officials confused it with Radio Graben Beni, one of the stations named in the communiqué. Although released, the two journalists have been forced to stay in Beni and have not been able to go back to work.The ADF/NALU rebels have been held responsible for a number of shocking recent massacres in the Beni region in which, according to Nord-Kivu civil society sources, 120 people have died since 2 October.Security is often cited as grounds for gagging the media in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is ranked 151st out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.(photo : Lambert Mendé, Information minister) RSF_en November 17, 2014 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Terrorism claims used to silence radio stations in Nord-Kivu Help by sharing this information
News May 5, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en Follow the news on Russia RussiaEurope – Central Asia RussiaEurope – Central Asia Receive email alerts May 21, 2021 Find out more Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing to go further Organisation Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown June 2, 2021 Find out more February 17, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Wave of attempts to intimidate independent media in run-up to presidential election Help by sharing this information News Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption News Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned by attempts to intimidate independent national media in recent days in Russia.“Whether the result of a change in strategy by the Kremlin or simultaneous initiatives by zealous subordinates, these manoeuvres must stop at once,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The warning shot fired across radio Echo of Moscow’s bows by its leading shareholder is the latest in a series of moves to reorganize independent media in the past few months.“Like the ridiculous charge of being ‘in the pay of foreigners,’ this devious behaviour above all reflects a growing alarm within the government and its allies about the sizeable opposition movement they are facing for the first time in the run-up to the 4 March presidential election. It also reflects an unacceptable contempt for journalists and belief that they can be easily silenced.”The online television station Dozhd TV yesterday received a fax from the Moscow prosecutor’s office asking it to provide detailed information about “the station’s funding for its coverage of the mass demonstrations from 10 to 24 December,” in which large marches were staged throughout the country in protest against alleged electoral fraud.The query was prompted by a request filed in late December by Robert Shlegel, a parliamentary representative of the ruling United Russia party and a former spokesman for the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi, who told the media he regarded Dozhd TV as an “information sponsor” of the opposition demonstrations. It was important to verify claims that the demonstrations and the coverage of them been financed “from abroad,” Shlegel said.Dozhd TV owner Natalya Sindeyeva announced that the station’s lawyers were preparing to respond to the request from the prosecutor’s office. She added that the station’s running costs were covered by her own resources, funds provided by her husband and what it earned from advertising.Two days earlier, Echo of Moscow, one of Russia’s leading independent broadcast media, announced that its board of directors is to be disbanded on the insistence of its majority shareholder, Gazprom, the partly state-owned natural gas company that is a close Kremlin ally. Acquired by Gazprom in 2001, like the popular TV station NTV, Echo of Moscow had managed until now to maintain its independence.Defending its request for changes in the board of directors, Gazprom-Media said it was motivated by a desire to “streamline” the management of its holdings and by the “increased attention being paid to the radio station by various sides.” One can only wonder at the request’s timing – just weeks before a presidential election and just one month after Vladimir Putin accused the station of “pouring shit over me from morning till evening.”This is the point made by the station’s journalists in a 14 February statement claiming that they were the victims of political pressure. “We understand that Gazprom-Media has been unable to react to criticism about the station from Russia’s highest officials,” they said.Reporters Without Borders said today: “We urge Gazprom-Media to explain why an overhaul of the station’s board of directors is so urgent. The wave of changes in media positions two months after the dismissal of Kommersant-Vlast’s editor in chief is just reinforcing the impression of a generalized attempt to get journalists to toe the line.”In the reshuffle of Echo of Moscow’s board scheduled for 29 March, Gazprom will get five of the nine seats instead of the four it has now. The newsroom’s current representatives, including editor in chief Alexei Venediktov and two “independent directors,” are to stand down. The journalists have already chosen their replacements and insist that the station’s editorial policy will not change. The newsroom’s staff is not being changed either.Gazprom-Media has not responded to offers from Dozhd TV owner Sindeyeva and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov to buy its 66 per cent stake in Echo of Moscow. In the past, the company had repeatedly turned down similar offers from the station’s journalists.The accusations against Dozhd TV have much in common with Prime Minister Putin’s claim that the anti-government protesters were incited by the US State Department. One of the targets of a series of cyber-attacks on independents news websites on the eve of last December’s parliamentary elections, Dozhd TV already had to defend its coverage of the protests on 5 and 6 December to the Federal Supervisory Agency for Communications (Roskomnadzor).After closely examining recordings of the station’s coverage, the agency concluded that they contained nothing amiss.Putin is United Russia’s candidate in the presidential election being held on 4 March. If he wins, he will recover the position he already held from 2000 to 2008.
One of the most talked-about highlights in the wake of the annual Summer Camp Music Festival this Memorial Day has been groove rock quartet Aqueous‘s Thursday, 5/25 sunset performance. The set was the first of two full-band slots over the course of the festival (guitarist Mike Gantzer also joined Umphrey’s McGee member Ryan Stasik and Kris Myers for a tribute to Green Day‘s pop-punk classic Dookie), and the Buffalo natives made it count, offering up some incredible improv as well as a couple of very special surprise guests.Summer Camp Music Festival Kicks Off With Massive Thursday Pre-Party [Photos]The previously-planned Dookie set turned out to not be the only Aqueous/Umphrey’s crossover of the weekend, as Aqueous was joined by Umphrey’s keyboardist Joel Cummins and moe. drummer Vinnie Amico for a funky run through Steely Dan‘s 1976 hit “Kid Charlemagne.” Today, Aqueous has finally released pro-shot video of the Umphreys/moe. collaboration, so we can all relive the surprise sit-in in full multi-camera HD. You can check Joel and Vinnie’s guest appearance with Aqueous at Summer Camp below, via the band’s YouTube page:SETLIST: Aqueous | Summer Camp Music Festival | 5/25/17SET 1: Skyway > Origami1 > Second Sight, Kid Charlemagne2 3, Triangle > Strange TimesNOTES:1 Unfinished2 First Time Played, Steely Dan Cover3 Featuring Vinnie Amico (moe.) on drums, Joel Cummins (Umphrey’s McGee) on keyboards[Cover photo via Phierce Photo by Keith G.] Although collaborations like this double-trouble sit-in at Summer Camp tend to be rare, fans will have the chance to see some brand new Aqueous/Umphrey’s McGee crossover action next Friday, July 7th, Umphrey’s McGee will return to Central Park’s SummerStage, with Aqueous serving as the band’s opening act. Immediately following the SummerStage performance, fans will head downtown to the Highline Ballroom, where Aqueous will host their own headlining official late-night show featuring help from Joel Cummins and his Umphrey’s bandmate, guitarist Jake Cinninger. Tickets are still available for both the SummerStage show and the Highline Ballroom late-night.
“This one-strike policy on straybullet incidents caused by indiscriminate firing of guns resulting to death orinjury will be strictly implemented,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel JoemMalong, PRO-6 spokesperson. ILOILO City – Should there be cases ofinjuries or deaths due to stray bullets this holiday season, these should besolved within 24 hours, the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) told police unitsacross Western Visayas. Failure to crack the cases within such period wouldcost the posts of the police chiefs concerned. The PRO-6 is wary of the irresponsiblepractice of gun owners of firing their firearms to celebrate Christmas andwelcoming the New Year. The policy is contained in thePaskuhan 2019 Operational Guidelines issued by the Philippine National Policeon Nov. 22, 2019. Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan,PRO-6 director, said, “We really need to inform our general public that thereis again a need to control the use of firearms and there is such a program forthem to reach out and surrender their firearms, especially those who stilldon’t have complete documents.” But of particular concern to the PRO-6are those keeping illegal guns (not registered or homemade), according to thePRO-6 spokesperson. Lieutenant General Camilo PancratiusCascolan, Philippine National Police’s deputy chief for operations,acknowledged the effort of the PRO-6 in this campaign. It also revealed that police unitsacross the region were able to confiscate a total of 564 loose firearms in fivemonths from July 1 to Nov. 19. The PRO-6’s goal is to achieve zerostray bullet incidents this holiday season. Malong said two long-standingprograms having this goal are the police campaign against loose firearms andthe setting up of checkpoints where cops stop people and check them out. “These are more than 500 (seized loosefirearms), an initiative of the PRO-6. Most of them are from law enforcementoperations. Some were surrendered by local government units because of the lackof licenses, or by individuals who still have no permit for the said firearms,”Cascolan said. Police chiefs must devise ways toconvince gun holders not to fire their guns, she stressed. The regional police’ data showed thatfrom July to October 2019, 425 crimes were committed with the use of firearms./PN Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, spokesperson of the PRO-6. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN During the holiday season last year,the PRO-6 recorded no stray bullet incidents. Malong said this was due to themassive campaign against loose firearms and the drive encouraging responsibleownership of guns. “The police chief would be relievedfrom his post if the case is not solved within 24 hours,” Malong said. Just last month, the PRO-6 relaunchedthe “Tokhang Kontra Guinadilian nga Pusil (TKGP)” in Camp Delgado here.