Congo Brazaville: Journalist Expelled

20 October 2014 at 21:44 | 22573 views

Sadio Kante More (photo)l, a freelance journalist who has been in the government’s sights for months, was expelled from the Republic of Congo on the night of 22 September on the spurious grounds that she is not Congolese and was residing in the country illegally.

In the Malian capital of Bamako, where she has found refuge, Kante Morel said she is the victim of an act of injustice. As someone born in the Congolese capital of Brazzaville, she automatically has Congolese citizenship.

Was this a bureaucratic error or an excuse for getting rid of a journalist who had become a nuisance? said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk.

The authorities’ recent behaviour towards the media inclines us towards the second hypothesis. Either way, we urge the government to immediately rescind her expulsion, which is unacceptable."

A former Reuters reporter, Kante Morel has often been virulent in her criticism of the government, in contrast to many of her colleagues, who resort to self-censorship as a way to survive.

When armed men invaded TV journalist Elie Smith’s home on 10 September, Kante Morel was the first one to report it. In September 2013, police roughed her up when she tried to cover the trial of Marcel Ntsourou, an army colonel.

Respect for media freedom has been declining in recent months amid plans to hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would allow President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to run for another term in 2016.

The Republic of Congo is ranked 82nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

(photo : Sadio Kante Morel)