Journalists Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev and Kirill Radchenko were murdered in the Central African Republic when they went there to make a documentary on Kremlin-linked mercenaries.
The journalists were killed by unknown individuals while preparing to make a documentary about Russian mercenaries.
A leading community radio station, Radio Mbari, has been forced to close after being threatened by armed groups in the Central African Republic.
Radio Be Oko journalist Elisabeth Blanche died from injuries she suffered in an attack by the Séléka rebel coalition in the central town of Bambari in January last year.
Issued by Prime Minister André Nzapayéké’s with the aim of “restoring security throughout the country,” the ban follows a general strike call that, according to the Jeune Afrique news website, was circulated by SMS.
Lepage’s death comes as security in the Central African Republic is becoming increasingly precarious. On 29 April, two local journalists, Désiré Sayenga and René Padou, succumbed to the injuries they suffered during an attack by armed youths.
“Her horrific death shows the danger to which journalists are exposed as they try to report the news in the Central African Republic and other conflict zones.”
The Central African Republic’s current humanitarian crisis, which stems from ongoing political tensions between sectarian militant groups, sheds light on how recurrent waves of political violence have created conditions that endanger both the lives and profession of journalists in one of the most underdeveloped nations in the world.
A year after the Seleka coalition began its rebellion, reporters in the Central African Republic are still in danger despite the deployment of French and African peacekeepers. Some media outlets have been ransacked, while others have self-censored their reporting to prevent threats or attacks.
Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns a recent increase in threats and violence against journalists, including threats by government officials in the Central African Republic.
At least two news outlets were raided in the Central African Republic on Sunday when rebel groups ousted the president from power, according to news reports and local press freedom groups.
Radio Be Oko journalist Elisabeth Blanche Olofio was not, as previously reported, killed when members of the Séléka rebel coalition occupied the central town of Bambari in early January.
A month-old armed uprising against President François Bozizé’s government has fostered acts of violence against community radio stations and journalists. Elisabeth Blanche Olofio was killed when rebels attacked her radio station.
The pardon came after the Union of Journalists announced they would refrain from commemorating World Press Freedom Day in protest against Samba’s detention.