Freedom of the Press

Congo, Democratic Republic of (Kinshasa)

Congo, Democratic Republic of (Kinshasa)

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

86

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

34

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

26

Throughout the year, scores of journalists were arrested, radio programs were shut down, and repeated court proceedings and official actions were taken against journalists and their institutions. Despite statutes providing for freedom of the press, the government sharply restricted journalists. Some independent newspapers are published in Kinshasa, but they do not circulate widely beyond the capital. The state-run broadcasting network reaches most people, though the church radio networks are expanding. Journalists may be arrested for "relaying intelligence to the enemy," "discouraging the population of soldiers," or divulging state secrets or defense secrets. In December, authorities banned 112 newspapers and news agencies. Only 51 press organizations were registered. Most of those banned had already faced high costs of production and sales that hampered their operation. During the year, 25 journalists were imprisoned in life-threatening conditions, according to local watchdog group Journalists in Danger.