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KINSHASA: DR Congo's press freedom group Journaliste en Danger (JED) said Monday it had registered 110 attacks, with three killings, against reporters or media organisations in 2021.

A statement from the group said the incidents took place as the Covid-19 pandemic, a breakdown in relations between President Felix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila and violence in the east took their toll.

"At least 110 cases of various attacks against journalists and the media were recorded this year," it said, including physical assault, kidnappings and threats.

The attacks were a sign of the deterioration of "the safe working environment for the media that has developed over the course of this year", culminating in one kidnapping and three murders.

Joel Mumbere, a broadcast journalist in restive Ituri province in the northeast, and Heritier Magayane, who reported for RTNC state television in neighbouring North Kivu, were killed in August.

Their killers have still not been identified, "due to a lack of serious investigations," JED said. In May, Barthelemy Kubanabandu, another journalist in North Kivu, was also killed by unknown armed men.

"Three years after coming to power and despite its many promises to the press, the new government has still not been able to send strong signals in favour of press freedom," JED said.

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