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November 10, 2014

Rwanda's media self-regulator subjected to intimidation campaign

Reporters Without Borders has called on the Rwandan authorities to defend the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), the media self -regulatory body, against all the attacks it has received for objecting to the suspension of the BBC’s Kinyarwanda-language broadcasts on October 25. The attacks began in earnest November 6, with dozen of tweets in the space of a few hours lambasting the RMC, the legality of its mandate, and its president, Fred Muvunyi. Muvunyi dared argue that, as a broadcast frequency... MORE
October 28, 2014

Rwandan parliament calls for BBC to be banned

The Rwandan parliament passed a resolution on October 22 calling on the government to ban the BBC and bring “genocide denial” charges against the presenter and producer of a controversial TV documentary about the 1994 Rwandan genocide that the BBC broadcast in early October. The vote came a few days after President Paul Kagame himself accused the BBC of “denying the genocide” of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority by members of the Hutu majority. “This parliamentary resolution is not surprising inasmuch as... MORE
April 10, 2014

Rwanda: Radio station manager missing since genocide anniversary event

Cassien Ntamuhanga , the manager of the Kigali-based Christian radio station Amazing Grace , has been missing since the evening of April 7, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Ntamuhanga’s last contact with his family was at around 7p.m. on April 7, when he was leaving Amahoro Stadium after a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Tutsi genocide. He telephoned his younger brother to say he would meet him in the city. There has been no news of him since then and his phone rings... MORE
March 20, 2014

Rwanda: Authorities hound independent journalists at home and abroad

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Rwandan government’s lack of transparency and its unacceptable acts of harassment and intimidation of journalists with the aim of suppressing freedom of information and independent reporting. Rwandan journalists have been the victims of the government’s harassment for years, but the targets have for some also included foreign journalists, especially Ugandan ones. “The Rwandan government often responds to charges of blocking information by portraying... MORE
June 6, 2011

Rwanda: Exiled editor sentenced for 'insulting' president

The Supreme Court of Rwanda sentenced the exiled online editor of Umuvugizi , Jean Bosco Gasasira, on Friday to a two year and six month term in prison. Gasasira received this sentence for allegedly insulting Rwanda's president and inciting civil disobedience, local journalists told New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Gasasira believes the new sentence may stem from an online article he wrote that compared Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to Zimbabwe's... MORE
April 29, 2011

Rwanda: Prosecutors request 10-year jail sentence for exiled newspaper editor

The Rwandan government has been hounding one of its media bugbears, Jean Bosco Gasasira , editor of the bimonthly newspaper Umuvugizi and one of the country’s most outspoken journalists, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has said. Prosecutors Thursday asked Rwanda’s supreme court to sentence him to ten years in prison on charges on which the Kigali high court acquitted him last September. The request was made at a hearing at which he was not represented by a lawyer... MORE
February 5, 2011

In Rwanda, journalists given 17 and 7 years in prison

Harsh prison sentences given to two journalists Friday under Rwanda's vague and sweeping laws against "genocide ideology" and "divisionism" will have a chilling effect on the Rwandan press, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said. A panel of three High Court judges in the capital, Kigali, sentenced Agnès Uwimana, former editor of the now-defunct private weekly Umurabyo , to 17 years in prison and gave a seven-year prison term to former Deputy Editor Saidati Mukakibibi. The charges... MORE
January 29, 2011

Rwanda promises to bring freedom of expression laws in line with international standards

Rwanda became the 146 UN member state to be appraised under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, at the 10th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). The review brought to the fore details of violations of the right to freedom of expression and attempts by the state delegation to justify its clampdown on independent media, political opponents and human rights defenders. ARTICLE 19's submission to the HRC in July 2010 highlighted three areas of concern which were reflected in the... MORE
January 7, 2011

Rwanda: Prosecutor requests 33 and 12 years in jail for two women journalists

A prosecutor in Rwanda has requested long prison sentences for two newspaper journalists who, after six months in pre-trial detention, are being tried before a Kigali high court on a range of charges including genocide denial and inciting public disorder, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). The prosecution on Wednesday requested 33 years in prison and a fine of 800,000 Rwandan francs (1028 euros) for Agnès Uwimana Nkusi , the editor of the privately-... MORE
December 17, 2010

Rwandan advisor must retract accusation against editor

A senior Rwandan presidential adviser should immediately retract a grave and unsubstantiated public accusation against a journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded. Brig Gen Richard Rutatina, a presidential security advisor, publicly accused Nelson Gatsimbazi, managing editor of the Kinyarwanda bimonthly Umusingi , of working with "enemies of the state." He made the accusation Tuesday during a forum on human rights in Rwanda, according to local news reports. In comments... MORE