Pascal Mulegwa

DRC: RFI correspondent Pascal Mulegwa attacked

In a press release this Thursday, Radio France Internationale (RFI) announced that its correspondent in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Pascal Mulegwa, was attacked by supporters of a candidate vying for the presidential election. This act of violence was condemned by RFI and the Association of International Press Correspondents in the Democratic Republic.

The Association of International Press Correspondents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (ACPI-DRC) and Radio France Internationale denounced the attack of which Pascal Mulegwa, RFI correspondent, was the victim on Wednesday December 20, 2023 by people presenting themselves as supporters of the presidential party while covering the voting operations in a school in Kinshasa.

According to the facts, Pascal Mulegwa was accompanied by one of his colleagues who was reporting with a microphone covered by an RFI windbreaker at the voting center located at the Ngaliema Technical Institute in the north of Kinshasa. “Around 120 men identified us and attacked us. My colleague got away, I on the other hand was detained”declared Pascal Mulegwa.

I was lynched…

“I was lynched by these young men, some of whom were armed with knives (according to the testimonies received) who said they were supporters and voters of President Tshisekedi. They dragged me to the ground, took my property, accusing me of working for RFI which they say they hate as well as other French public media. They almost immolated me. My life was saved thanks to the intervention of some muscular young people who exfiltrated me from the school.

I fell into a gutter. I remember seeing an open fence gate and I took refuge there before being evacuated aboard an armored vehicle dispatched by the Minister of Media Patrick Muyaya, who then took me to the hospital. reported journalist Mulegwa, according to a press release from the Association of International Press Correspondents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (ACPI-RDC), consulted by BENIN WEB TV.

“He escaped with a sprain in his right foot, discomfort in his jaw, a sum of money he had on him and his phone were taken away”indicates the ACPI-RDC press release which says it is disturbed by this violence which targeted its member due to being a well-known journalist.

In a press release, the management of RFI strongly condemned the attack on its journalist in the exercise of his profession, “and provides him with all possible support and assistance.” RFI has, moreover, reaffirmed “its commitment to free, independent information and will continue to cover the general elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the professionalism and balance that characterize the work of its journalists“.

This act of violence occurs in the middle of the electoral period in the DRC. The presidential election, which is obviously taking place in a context of blatant insecurity in the east of the country, pits the outgoing president, Félix Tshisekedi, against nineteen other candidates including Moïse Katumbi, Denis Mukwege and Martin Fayulu.