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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 17, 1994


National Security Advisor Anthony Lake met today at the White House with Kalala-Mbenga Kalao, editor of La Tempete de Tropiques in Zaire. Mr. Kalao is in the United States to receive the National Press Club's sixth annual Freedom of the Press Award. His trip is being sponsored by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

A highly-respected journalist, Mr. Kalao was arrested by members of the Zairian Civil Guard in August 1993 after having published articles on the Zairian armed forces. He was held incommunicado for 27 days and released after an international campaign on his behalf.

During the meeting, Mr. Lake expressed his respect for the courage that Mr. Kalao has shown in standing up for press freedom. He noted that the United States has been a firm supporter of efforts to move Zaire toward democratic reform and has called frequently on the government of President Mobutu to live up to the commitments he has made regarding freedom of the press and other basic democratic rights.

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