Congo. According to Countryaah, four independent newspapers were temporarily forced to suspend their publication on June 1 following a decision by the authorities that accused them of publishing “upsetting articles”. The independent newspapers L’Observateur, Talassa and Le Trottoir, all of which are published in the capital Brazzaville, were forced to close for four months, according to a decision by the High Council for Communications Freedom (CLSC), which regulates the country’s media. A fourth newspaper, Le Glaive, was forced to close for two months. The Freedom of Expression Organization Reporters Without Borders condemned the decision. Congo ranks 76th among 179 countries on Reporters Without Borders list of press freedom.
In September, six soldiers were convicted of the explosion in an armistice in the capital, Brazzaville, which killed about 280 people in March 2012. The longest sentence was given to the main defendant, a corporal who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for deliberately setting fire to weapons. A colonel received five years of criminal work for misappropriating money that would have been used to build ammunition containers. Another 26 people were charged, but were cleared of suspicion.
Congolese General Norbert Dabira was arrested in France in August, suspected of being responsible for a massacre in Congo in 1999. There are about 350 refugees who disappeared when they returned to Congo (Brazzaville) after exile in neighboring Congo (Kinshasa), and are suspected of having killed by the military. 64-year-old Dabira, who has a home in France, was released shortly after the arrest pending trial. He denied the suspicions.
Dabira and 14 other high-ranking militants were cleared of suspicion in the case at a trial in a Congolese court in 2005. The court found that 85 people had disappeared, but had no explanation for it and offered relative compensation. Congolese authorities have constantly denied that the refugees would have been killed, but human rights groups and relatives of the refugees claim they were arrested, tortured and executed because they were suspected of supporting a militia group fighting the government. French authorities opened an investigation into the case in 2001. When he was arrested, Dabira was responsible for reintegrating former rebels in the Congo.