The Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned the murder of a radio technician in a war zone in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
“I condemn the murder of Michel Hangi and call on the authorities to ensure that an investigation is conducted to identify those responsible. This act must not go unpunished,” Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO boss, said in a statement on Friday, July 22.
“Community media workers are essential in rendering information accessible to all. Therefore, they must exercise their profession in all freedom and all security.”
According to local sources, the murder of Michel Hangi took place while he was on his way home from work.
“Our collaborator, Michel Hangi, was killed after animating his programme on the radio. Armed men shot at him,” said Crispin Kitete, Director of “Radio Soleil Levant” where Hangi worked.
A radio technician known as a comedian under the pseudonym of Parachichi Mukasaii, he became famous in Nyiragongo, a neighbourhood of Goma, through his commercial announcements that he made on a motorbike. He also animated a comedy programme on the radio.
Between 1994 and 2021, 25 journalists were killed in DR Congo, according to the Congolese “Journalist In Danger” organisation. Hangi is the first media professional killed this year so far.
DR Congo occupies 125th place on the 2022 Reporters Without Borders classification of dangerous environments for journalists.
In 2021, three journalists were killed in the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces, which are currently under siege.
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