Journalist Raymond Malonga freed after six months in detention in Brazzaville

“I am relieved to leave prison. But I am sick because I suffer from high blood pressure,” said Raymond Malonga, a journalist critical of President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s regime, as he left prison on Wednesday after serving a six-month prison sentence for defamation.
“The conditions of detention are really deplorable (…). I will take a little rest before resuming work,” added the 60-year-old journalist, also mentioning “a problem of memory loss.
The journalist, director of the satirical weekly “Sel-Piment”, was arrested in February in a clinic where he was undergoing treatment, before being tried and sentenced to six months in prison in May.
He was convicted of defaming Georgette Okemba, wife of Admiral Jean-Dominique Okemba, special adviser to President Sassou Nguesso, whom he accused of embezzling one billion CFA francs (1.5 million euros) from the public treasury.
Shortly before, his newspaper was suspended indefinitely by the High Council for Freedom of Communication, headed by Philippe Mvouo, a former minister (2002-2007) and member of the ruling Congolese Labor Party (PCT).
Raymond Malonga was also fined 30 million CFA francs (45,000 euros), which he must pay within four months, said a member of the journalist’s family who requested anonymity. “For his release, we have paid a bail of 100,000 FCFA (152 euros),” he added.

About Geraldine Boechat 2680 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia