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DRC: TV cameraman badly hurt in targeted Goma shooting

Reporters Without Borders and its local partner Journalist in Danger (JED) have called for a thorough investigation into a shooting attack on a TV cameraman in the eastern city of Goma on October 25 Cameraman Philémon Gira of Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise, was hospitalised in a serious condition with a gunshot injury to the thigh.

The authorities must end impunity for crimes of violence against journalists in Democratic Republic of Congo, which is ranked 151st out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, RSF/JED said.

Journalist in Danger’s press release follows:

Journalist in Danger (JED) is appalled by a shooting attack on a journalist with the provincial bureau of Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) in Goma, the capital of the eastern province of Nord-Kivu, on 25 October.

JED calls on the Nord-Kivu provincial authorities to conduct an urgent and thorough investigation to identify those responsible for the journalist’s attempted murder and punish them in an exemplary manner in order to deter the constantly recurring violence against media personnel in that part of the country.

According to the information obtained by JED, RTNC reporter/cameraman Philémon Gira was badly injured near his home at around 6 p.m. when gunmen who had followed him from the TV station fired three shots at him at close range. They then grabbed his bag containing his camera and recorded tapes and fled, leaving him for dead.

Bleeding profusely from a shot to the leg, Gira was found by passers-by who took him to a hospital where he was admitted to an intensive care unit.

JED has learned that Gira was returning home by motorcycle when he noticed that other motorcyclists following him were armed and behaving suspiciously. He started to drive at high speed with the intention of changing his route but his assailants fired three shots at him, one of them hitting him in the left thigh.

Before disappearing, his assailant took Gira’s backpack containing his camera and cassettes with recordings of various activities by the Nord-Kivu provincial assembly, but they left the other personal effects that Gira had with him.

In JED’s view, Gira was clearly the victim of a targeted attack because of his work as a journalist. JED calls on the authorities to take this threat seriously in a province that has become a minefield for media personnel, one where ten journalists have been killed in the past decade.

Date posted: October 31, 2014 Last modified: May 12, 2018 Total views: 40