UN rights expert criticizes clampdown on media in Congo

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A U.N. expert on freedom of expression says the Congolese government is violating international human rights law with moves like jamming radio broadcasts and arresting journalists.

David Kaye cited an Information Ministry decree on Nov. 12 that bars international media from operating in Congo unless they sign an agreement with local media or set up an outlet under Congolese regulations.

In a statement Thursday, Kaye said the "silencing of critical voices through arrests, censorship and other forms of government control" threatens the stability of a country "already in a seriously fragile state."

He said five journalists were arrested and the signals of three media outlets were jammed last month.

President Joseph Kabila's term was supposed to end this month. Critics accuse him of delaying a vote to stay in power.