Kinshasa, October 13, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo to allow the provisional release of journalist Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala and drop all legal proceedings against him.
“Journalist Stanis Bujakera should never have been arrested or charged, but the least DRC authorities can do is not oppose his request for provisional release and drop all legal proceedings against him,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, from New York. “Bujakera should be released without further delay and allowed to return home to see his family in the U.S.”
On Friday, October 13, during a court hearing in the Makala central prison in Kinshasa, the capital, lawyers representing Bujakera requested his provisional release, according to news reports and one of the lawyers, Charles Mushizi. The judge is expected to rule on the request within 48 hours, and Bujakera’s next court date is scheduled for October 20.
Bujakera is a permanent U.S. resident with a home in Virginia and works as a correspondent for the privately owned Jeune Afrique news website and Reuters, and is deputy director of publication for the DRC-based news website Actualite.cd, his wife, Armelle Tshiamala, told CPJ.
Congolese police arrested Bujakera on September 8. He faces several charges under the penal and digital code related to an August 31 Jeune Afrique report about the military intelligence’s possible involvement in the murder of a minister, which the outlet said Bujakera did not write.
On October 3, DRC Minister of Communication Patrick Muyaya told local reporters that the government would not intervene because the case was before a court.