Journaliste en Danger is an independent and impartial organization created in Kinshasa by a group of Congolese journalists (DRC) and dedicated to the defense and the promotion of the press freedom first in DRC and then, since May 2003, in eight other countries of Central Africa covered by OMAC (Organization of medias in Central Africa) whose the headquarter is based in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi. Those eight other countries covered by JED are as follows: Burundi, Cameroon, Congo/Brazzaville, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Centrafrican Republic, Rwanda and Chad.
JED is not an organization exclusively reserved to journalists. It is rather a totally independent structure and is open to those who are interested in the defense and the promotion of their right of informing freely and of being informed on the same way without any exclusion. It is a non-profit association that was created in Kinshasa on 20 November 1998. In compliance with the Congolese legislation regarding non-profit associations, JED is registered by the Direction of religions and associations of the Ministry of justice under the number F.92/5337 (In reference to the letter Nr S.G. 20/052/99 of 2 February 1999).
JED has been created from the concern of its founders had whereby, despite the fall of the dictatorship of Marshal Mobutu and « Liberation » proclaimed by the coming into the power of AFDL (Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération) directed by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, in no day, somewhere in the country, the press freedom was not abused with impunity, or a pen was not broken.
Moreover, the situation was that journalists were often victims of quick justice. Any holder of a portion of political, economical or military power could take the law into his own hands any time he is not happy with the news delivered. The journalist was then sent and kept in prison according to the will of the « offended » person while his media was closed.
More than ten years after the creation of JED, Congolese Justice that could have plaid the arbitrator role in conflicts opposing journalists or media to others, remains still subject to the political power and money power. Very often, it becomes the secular arm for those who don’t accept any criticism or contradiction in media.
JED is mobilized everyday to:
• Watch the practice of the press freedom in nine countries of the Central Africa subregion by the monitoring and surveys on the ground of all allegations about the press freedom infringements;
• Carry out actions of protest (by letters or alerts) and of lobbying towards persons responsible for the press freedom abuse in order to put an end to those violations in each of the countries or to obtain reparation;
• Perform regular visits of places where journalists are detained or imprisoned;
• Grant (directly or indirectly) some assistance money to the families of journalists killed or imprisoned for the professional reason;
• Bring a judicial support to the journalists or media sued before trials and courts for professional reason by providing lawyers to them;
• Monitor trials against media and journalists;
• Attend studies on the improvement of the juridical, political and economical frame regarding the press freedom practice;
• Publish annual reports on press freedom or on specific topics in relation with the news of media, alone or with partners;
• Organize workshops, conferences, seminars on subjects related to the
integrity and deontology, to the professional treatment of information, and to the safety of journalists;
• Publish a magazine named « Plume et Liberté ».
To act better and make things changed, JED is exerting, since its creation, to be involved in the worldwide network of organizations evolving in the press freedom defense and promotion, democracy and development areas. As such, JED is member of IFEX (International freedom of Expression Exchange) the greatest worldwide network of the Expression freedom activists based in Toronto (Canada). JED is also member of the international network of RSF (Reporters Sans Frontières, Paris), a worldwide reference for the expression freedom defense. JED works closely with other organizations, all prestigious as well, such as CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists, New York), Human Rights Watch (HRW, New York), Amnesty International (London), Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA, Windhoek), Article 19 (London), Fédération Internationale des Journalistes (FIJ, Brussels) and so as United Nations system agencies specialized in human rights.