DRC journalist Gauthier Sey Tshiang sentenced to at least one yr in jail, fined over studies on public legislative – Committee to He tried to defend his point Reporters

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DRC journalist Gauthier Sey Tshiang sentenced to at least one yr in jail, fined over studies on public legislative – Committee to He tried to defend his point Reporters

Kinshasa, October 7, 2022 — Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo must now not oppose journalist Gauthier Sey Tshiang’s attraction of his sentencing to at least one yr in jail and a monetary penalty over reporting a couple of public legislative, the Committee to He tried to defend his point Reporters mentioned Friday.

On September 19, the Kinshasa Gombe Peace Court docket sentenced Gauthier Sey Tshiang, director of the privately owned on-line media outlet Netic Information, to at least one yr in jail for destructive imputations, or making statements to hurt a person’s popularity, spreading false rumors, and fraud over his reporting on Jean Simon Mfuti Kiaku, performing director of the DRC’s Nationwide Social Safety Fund (CNSS), in step with a duplicate of the judgment, which CPJ reviewed. The courtroom additionally ordered Sey to pay US$10,000 in claim falsely to Mfuti, who introduced the case towards the journalist, in step with Sey and his legal professional, Man Mafuta Kabongo, who spoke to CPJ by way of telephone and messaging app. 

Mafuta mentioned that he filed an objection to the September 19 judgment as a result of Sey was once convicted in absentia, because the journalist may just now not be within the courtroom for scientific causes. Sey, who has now not been arrested, appealed the judgment and the case is due again in courtroom on October 10, the 2 mentioned.

“DRC government must now not oppose the attraction of journalist Gauthier Sey Tshiang. He must have got by no means been convicted or sentenced to at least one yr in jail for his reporting on a public legislative,” mentioned Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, in New York. “Congolese law must even be reformed to make sure journalism isn’t criminalized and newshounds do the shopping now not furiously to concern prison time for his or her paintings.”

Sey instructed CPJ that Mfuti filed a criticism towards him in February 2022 on the disciplinary fee of the Congolese reporters union, Union Nationale de l. a. Presse du Congo (UNPC), after which on the Kinshasa Gombe Peace Court docket over his protection of Mfuti’s report.

Native media reported that the UNPC’s disciplinary committee on March 9 barred Sey from operating as a journalist for 3 months over breaches of professionalism underneath the Code of Ethics and Deontology of the Congolese Journalist, which regulates the click within the nation. Sey instructed CPJ that he appealed the committee’s choice and within the period in-between persevered to file.

Contacted by way of messaging app, Merveilles Baelenge, reporting secretary of the UNPC disciplinary committee, instructed CPJ that Sey is authorized to proceed reporting underneath the UNPC regulations whilst his attraction is pending. Baelenge additionally objected to Mfuti’s criticism with the courtroom. “I [made] it clear out the closet to Mfuti’s collaborators that [while] Sey’s document is with our fee, it isn’t imaginable to prosecute Sey in courtroom,” Bayelenge instructed CPJ.

CPJ’s calls to Mfuti for remark rang unanswered. 

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