afrol News, 20 August - Achille Ekele N'Golyma, editor of the satirical publication 'Pot-pourri', has been released from the Kinshasa Penitentiary and Reeducation Centre (CPRK) after having been detained for two weeks. During detention, N'Golyma was pressured to erveal his sources on an article criricising an opposition politician.
Accoring to reseach made by Reporters sans frontières (RSF) Achille Ekele N'Golyma was released from the Kinshasa CPRK on 15 August. He had been held there since 31 July.
N'Golyma told RSF he had been freed as a result of the decision of the prosecutor's office to drop the charges against him. He was originally arrested on a libel complaint filed by Joseph Olenghankoy of the self-styled opposition party FONUS (Innovative Forces for Union and Solidarity), who subsequently withdrew his complaint.
Olenghankoy made the libel complaint based on two articles in 'Pot-pourri', accusing him of corruption and fraud. After being published in 'Pot-pourri', the accusations also appeared in another Congolese publication; 'Vision'.
The deputy public prosecutor thereupon interrogated Mr Ekelle N'Golyma to try to persuade him to reveal the source of the story. "This put the journalist under unacceptable pressure," said Secretary-Gerneral of the French media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontières, Robert Ménard, earlier this month.
- We remind you that the principle of protection of sources is one of the essential conditions for freedom of the press and democratic countries respect that right, Ménard said in a letter to the chief public prosecutor Luhonge Kabinda Ngoy.
In the letter, he further called for the immediate release of Mr Ekele N'Golyma, and for Mr Olenghankoy's complaint to be dismissed.
The news editor of 'Pot-Pourri', Damien Baita, was released after his identity was checked. He had been picked up after being confused with Gogin Kifwakiou of the newspaper 'Vision' who had written one of the allegedly incriminating articles. Mr Kifwakiou is currently being sought by police after going into hiding, RSF was informed.
Reporters sans frontières also recalled that Managing editor Raymond Kabala and editor Delly Bonsange of the daily 'Alerte Plus' were arrested and then jailed respectively on 19 and 22 July for allegedly "publishing false news".
Sources: Based on RSF and afrol archives