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UNESCO chief condemns murder of journalist in eastern DR Congo

UNESCO chief condemns murder of journalist in eastern DR Congo

Patient Chebeya Bankome
The Director-General of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the recent killing of a freelance television journalist in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Patient Chebeya Bankome, known as Montigomo, was shot dead by three men in military uniform in his home in the city of Beni on 5 April, according to a news release issued by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The 35-year-old reporter and freelance cameraman worked for several television broadcasters in North Kivu province.

“Attacks on journalists and media workers are unacceptable attacks on each and every member of society,” declared UNESCO chief Irina Bokova. “Freedom of expression is a basic human right. Its corollary, press freedom, is essential for informed debate and decision making by citizens and political leaders alike.

“I trust that efforts to bring the culprits to justice will bear fruit and prevent further violence against the media,” she added.

Monday’s murder brings to six the number of journalists killed in the often volatile east of the DRC since 2005, according to the Congolese non-governmental organization Journaliste en Danger.

The attacks on Pascal Kabungulu, Serge Maheshe, Patrick Kikuku, Didace Namujimbo and Bruno Koko Chirambiza remain unpunished, noted the organization, which is based in the capital, Kinshasa.