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Newspaper Editor Arrested in Congo

April 11, 1998

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) _ A newspaper editor who criticized President Laurent Kabila’s government and called for fairer distribution of Congo’s wealth was arrested Saturday, his paper’s publisher said.

In an editorial in his daily Record on Friday, Michel Ladi Luya compared Kabila with the late Zairian dictator Mobuto Sese Seko.

No explanation for the arrest was given, said Jean Bosco Ngeolo, a spokesman for the newspaper’s publisher. Luya was seized by soldiers in his office in Kinshasa.

Kabila’s rebel forces ousted Mobuto last year and renamed the country Congo. Kabila earlier this year warned journalists against criticizing his government and ``poisoning″ his efforts for administrative reform.

In February, the editor of the Congo newspaper The Potential, Modeste Mutingo Mutuishayi, was arrested after publishing an article questioning the internal exile of a top opposition leader. Mutuishayi was freed three days later.

Late last year, nine Congolese journalists and a South African one each received 20 to 42 lashes in military prison for attending an opposition news conference.

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