STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF CORRESPONDENT THOMAS SCHEEN
Johannesburg, November 7, 2008
The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Southern Africa welcomes the release of Thomas Scheen, correspondent for the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) today, who was kidnapped by Mai-Mai fighters in Eastern Congo.
Mr Scheen, a member of the FCA of Southern Africa, had been taken captive by armed Mai-Mai militias in the conflict region of the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday. He was working on a story for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung near the village of Kiwanja, an area where there has been heavy fighting between the Mai-Mai-militias and rebel general Laurent Nkunda`s forces.
Mr. Scheen and his three congolese colleagues have been taken care of by the authorities of the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC since Friday.
The FCA strongly condemns the kidnapping of Mr. Scheen and urges journalists to take precaution while travelling and working in the conflict area in East Congo.
* The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Southern Africa is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of some 200 international journalists based in southern Africa. In addition to holding regular events with newsmakers, the association acts as a watchdog for press freedom and strives to ensure that its members are able to work throughout the region without being intimidated or harassed.
FCA Southern Africa