Request for presidential pardon for jailed journalist Patrick Palata

first_img February 16, 2021 Find out more Reporter jailed in DRC for allegedly defaming parliamentarian Follow the news on Democratic Republic of Congo to go further Organisation On the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Reporters Without Borders and its local partner organization, Journalist in Danger, have written to President Joseph Kabila seeking a presidential pardon for the journalist Patrick Palata, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence.Palata, a journalist with the commercial TV station Canal Congo Télévision which broadcasts from Matadi, capital of Bas-Congo province, has been held in Ndolo military prison in Kinshasa for almost two years.“Without going into the details of the case, in which the journalist and his lawyers have always maintained his innocence, Reporters Without Borders and Journalist in Danger are seeking clemency on your part and request that, by virtue of the powers invested in you under the constitution, you accord him a pardon and commute his sentence,” the two organizations said in the letter, sent on 27 June and delivered the following day to the president’s office in Kinshasa, the Palais de la Nation. As the Democratic Republic of Congo celebrates its independence anniversary on 30 June, and prepares to host the 14th summit of the International Organization of the Francophonie four months later, the two NGOs believe the release of Palata would send a strong signal the French-speaking world and would demonstrate President Joseph Kabila’s desire to respect human rights and ensure that journalists are protected in their work. On 8 April this year, the Bas-Congo military court rejected an appeal against 20-year sentences imposed by the Matadi garrison military tribunal on Palata and 49 other people for organizing a rebel movement. Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica February 24, 2021 Find out more February 18, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders and Journalist in Danger noted that Palata, 34, has a five-month-old child born while he has been in prison and that there are signs that the journalist’s health may be deteriorating.Photo : Joseph Kabila (Gwenn Dubourthoumieu / AFP) Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information June 29, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Request for presidential pardon for jailed journalist Patrick Palata News Journalist arrested on provincial governor’s orders Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica Congolese reporter wounded by gunshot while covering protest in Goma News News RSF_en last_img read more

University press officer dies in an accident

first_imgUniversity Press Officer Katie Haines died on Thursday 18th February after suffering what is thought to be carbon monoxide poisoning.She was discovered by her husband Richard as he returned to their home in Wokingham, Berkshire after work. She was 31 years old.Both Richard Haines and paramedics attempted to resuscitate Katie, who was found lying unconscious in the bathtub of the couple’s home. Police and fire services were also called to the house in Barkham Road, Wokingham.Katie had been working at the Press Officer since April 2008 and had regular contact with several Cherwell reporters. She had previously worked as a journalist, and had contributed to such papers as The Sunday Times, Daily Express and The Sun.Ruth Collier, Head of the University’s Press & Information Office, said “Katie was a wonderful person and a very talented colleague. I and my press office colleagues loved working with her, as did everyone around the University she came into contact with. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Katie’s husband, parents and siblings.”“She was always really helpful and reliable,” said Marta Szczerba, Cherwell editor.Richard and his parents Gordon and Jackie, who were staying at the house, were also treated after inhaling the gas, along with six neighbours from two other homes. The couple’s cat was found dead in the hallway, and allegedly alerted Richard to the problem initially.The Sun reported that Katie is “believed to have inhaled deadly carbon monoxide leaking from a faulty boiler after she turned it on to heat her bath water.”Before training as a journalist at Lambeth College, in London, she had obtained a degree in English and French from Manchester University.She married Richard Haines, 30, in December 2009 and had only recently returned from their honeymoon in South America. Her Facebook profile picture shows her and her husband in front of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas, and according to the NHS “even breathing in a small amount can cause loss of consciousness and death.”Katie’s father, Gordon Samuel, who is co-owner of a renowned Mayfair art gallery the Osborne Samuel gallery, released a statement on her death along with his wife Avril, Katie’s husband and her siblings Adam and Lydia.The family said “we have been told by the doctorsthat she appears to have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, possibly from a boiler, but do not wish to speculate on this until we have the result of further medical tests.”They also said that “Katie was the perfect daughter who was as bright as she was beautiful. My wife and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect little girl. She never gave us a second of worry in her short life.” They said her career as a press officer was “a job she loved and was very proud to do.”The Watford Observer, where Katie worked as a trainee journalist between 2002 and 2004, said she was “fondly remembered by staff as a sports lover and keen runner.”last_img read more