Belgian journalist held in Congo

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Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

A Congolese human rights group, Voice of the Voiceless (VSV), has denounced the arrest of a Belgian independent journalist M. Collin in Bas-Congo province and demanded his immediate release or prosecution at a court of competent jurisdiction.

In a statement in Kinshasa on Wednesday, the rights group said Collin was arrested on 16 April in Seke-Banza by officers of the Immigration Department (DGM – Congolese Intelligence Service).

The Belgian journalist, who arrived in Seke-Banza the day before his arrest, had informed the local authorities of his willingness to investigate the recent “massacre” of followers of Bundu dia Kongo (BDK- a political and religious movement) .

The rights group said the local authorities in Seke-Banza did not have any objection.

“Yet, while conducting his investigations, Collin was arrested and transferred t o Matadi, the administrative centre of Bas-Congo province, 350 km west of Kinshasa, where he has been held without valid reasons.”

The rights group notes that the journalist has been blamed for entering a mining area without the authorization from Congo’s mines ministry.

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