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August 3, 2010

Around 30 news media closed few days ahead of Rwandan presidential election

With just a week to go to a presidential election on 9 August, Rwandan authorities are openly flouting the rules of the democratic game. Press freedom violations, including the jailing of journalists, the closure of news media and the murder of a newspaper editor a month ago, have intensified in the run-up to the election. The government's latest repressive measure has been the suspension of some 30 news media by the Media High Council, the media regulatory body. Media High Council executive... MORE
July 12, 2010

Rwandan editor arrested after criticising President Kagame

Police in Rwanda arrested the editor of a private newspaper on Thursday last in connection with a series of articles critical of the government, according to local journalists. Agnès Uwimana was taken into custody in the capital, Kigali, over allegations that her Kinyarwanda-language weekly Umurabyo had published stories “inciting the public to disobey,” “articles related to division and ethnicity,” and “rumours that can cause disturbance in the country,” Rwandan National Police spokesman Eric... MORE
July 2, 2010

Rwanda arrests two over journalist killing

Rwandan authorities said Monday they have arrested two people in connection with the killing of a journalist critical of President Paul Kagame's government, and that one of the two has confessed, Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported. Jean-Leonard Rugambage, who had accused the Rwandan government of being behind an assassination attempt on a dissident general in South Africa, was gunned down in Kigali on Thursday. The details: [ Link ] "Two people implicated in the killing of the journalist... MORE
June 30, 2010

Scepticism greets arrests in Rwandan journalist’s murder

Authorities in Rwanda announced on Monday the arrest of two individuals in the murder of journalist Jean-Léonard Rugambage, who was shot late Thursday as he drove through the gate to his home in Kigali. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) expressed scepticism about the arrests and called on authorities to disclose details of their investigation. “The burden is on the Rwandan government to conduct a thorough, transparent investigation and to produce credible results,” CPJ Africa Advocacy... MORE
June 25, 2010

Editor of censored Rwandan paper is assassinated

A top editor of an independent Rwandan newspaper that was recently banned by the government was assassinated in front of his home late Thursday. An assailant shot Jean-Léonard Rugambage, acting editor of Umuvugizi as he drove through the gate of his home in the capital, Kigali, around 10 p.m., Rwanda National police spokesperson Eric Kayiranga told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “At the moment, we are yet to establish who is involved in the killing and police are currently... MORE
April 13, 2010

Rwanda shuts down critical papers in run-up to presidential vote

Rwanda’s Media High Council on Tuesday suspended two independent weeklies just months prior to presidential elections. At a press conference, attended only by state broadcasters and the pro-government radio station Contact FM, the Media High Council announced an immediate six month suspension of private local language weeklies, Umuseso and Umuvugizi . The council accused Umuseso of insulting the head of state, inciting the police and army to insubordination, and creating fear among the public,... MORE
February 23, 2010

Rwanda: Court sentences three journalists to imprisonment

A court in the Kigali district of Nyarugenge Monday imposed jail sentences on Charles Kabonero, the publisher of the weekly Umuseso , Didas Gasana, its editor, and Richard Kayigamba, one of its reporters, after finding them guilty of invading privacy in one of their articles. Kabonero got 12 months, while the other two got six months. “We firmly condemn these sentences, which deprive the newspaper’s staff of three of its most important members,” Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said... MORE
February 4, 2010

Rwanda: Weekly threatened with being closed for good over sleazy scoop

Umuseso , one of Rwanda’s leading independent weeklies, could be closed down as a result of case brought by the public prosecutor’s office accusing it of libel and invasion of privacy for reporting that a government minister was having an extra-marital affair with the mayor of Kigali, according to Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). A neighbourhood court in Nyarugenge is due to issue its verdict on February 22. “We urge the judge to keep a cool head and to issue a fair verdict that respects press... MORE
November 17, 2009

Heavy fines but no jail for Rwandan editor convicted of defamation

Jean Bosco Gasasira, the editor of the fortnightly Umuvugizi , has been convicted on charges of defamation and invasion of privacy but has been acquitted on the more serious charge of insult and abuse, on which he had been facing a possible sentence of more than two years in prison. In its verdict and sentencing issued on November 13, the Kigali court also refrained from ordering Umuvugizi’s closure, which had been requested by the prosecutor’s office. The prosecution was the result of a... MORE
November 10, 2009

Prosecutor calls for more than two years against Rwandan journalist

Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) Tuesday voiced outrage at a prosecution call to permanently shut down the independent bi-monthly Umuvugizi and to sentence its editor, Jean Bosco Gasasira, to a 26-month jail sentence for libel. The Paris-based press freedom organisation urged the judge who is due to rule in the case on November 13 not to follow the recommendation made on October 26 by the judge, Silas Nsengiyumva, of the Kagarama lower court in the capital Kigali. The editor is on trial for “... MORE