Expression in DRC

People in the DRC take serious risks when openly expressing opinions, particularly when those views conflict with the government’s official line. Violence, intimidation, threats, arbitrary arrests, and judicial proceedings on trumped up charges are common tools used to suppress dissent. Many journalists and human rights defenders from the DRC have been violently attacked and many others forced to flee and live in exile as a consequence of expressing their opinions in public. HRDs have reported receiving threats from unidentified sources because of the work they do. The state also limits free expression by exercising strict control over sources of information. For example, the information minister recently called for the closure of some community radio stations because they had aired views critical of the government. During citizen protests in 2015, the state closed down two TV stations, text messaging and Internet services. The state also restricts press freedom by using criminal defamation and libel laws to target journalists and media houses.