PPF condemns closure of 15 stations in Congo

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PPF condemns closure of 15 stations in Congo

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo has expressed concern over the shutdown of at least fifteen private and community based broadcasting stations.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter has condemned this action of closing the stations and urged the authorities to immediately reopen the stations.

According to the Journaliste En Danger (JED), the Directorate General of Administrative along with the Domaniale and Participation Revenue (DGRAD) and the Regulatory Authority of the Post and Congo Telecommunications (ARPTC), a provincial branch of Kananga, in Central Kasaï Province (Central DR Congo) has closed down the stations for non-payment of royalties, taxes and duties.

On May 3, 2019, DGRAD and ARPTC officials along with the law enforcement agencies sealed the stations.

The stations included, Kasai Horizon Television (KHRT), Channel 13, Shaloom, Moyo Radio, Full Contact Radio (FCR), Kasai Prosperity Broadcasting (RTPK), Kasai Voice, RT Amazone (RTA), Sozer, Christian RT (RTC), RT Espérance (RTE), RT Nsanga, Radio Lumière, Radio Pilote and Radio Réveil.

Soon after the ban, the owners of all these media organizations visited the provincial branch of DGRAD to investigate about the matter. The in charge of the service of the State required the owners to submit the evidences of payment of the royalties, taxes and taxes before hearing them on minutes.

Although, some of the directors of these media organizations agreed to give DGRAD guarantees to obtain the show of hands. But the head of the DGRAD refused this proposal.