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October 27, 2009

In Rwanda, defamation case is politicised

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has expressed concern that the prosecution of Jean Bosco Gasasira, editor-in-chief of the Rwandan bimonthly Umuvugizi , on criminal defamation charges has been politicised and the outcome predetermined. The case stems from complaints filed by a government prosecutor and a physician who say they were defamed by coverage claiming they were involved in a romantic relationship. The two said the alleged relationship was false, according to local reports... MORE
August 13, 2009

Two journalists in Rwanda given jail sentences in separate cases two days apart

Two journalists in Rwanda have been given prison sentences in separate cases in the past few days. Newspaper editor Asumani Niyonambaza was sentenced to two years in prison. Reporter Amani Ntakundi got a three-month sentence. “There were absolutely no grounds for these jails sentences,” Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has said. “Trials, threats, intimidation and smears are all used to punish independent journalists in Rwanda. We urge the judges who convicted these journalists to... MORE
August 8, 2009

Rwandan weekly suspended for likening government to one in power in run-up to 1994 genocide

The High Media Council in Rwanda has asked the information ministry to close independent weekly Umuseso for three months for likening the current government to the one that was in power in the run-up to the 1994 genocide. The offending article, published in Umuseso’s July 20-27 issue, compared President Paul Kagame’s government to that of Juvénal Habyarimana, who was president immediately prior to the genocide. Its headline was: “Impanga? Kagame arusha Habyarimana ikoranabuhanga mu gitugu gusa... MORE
June 29, 2009

Rwanda threatenes to reimpose ban on BBC if it does not change editorial line

Rwandan information minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, has threatened to reimpose the ban on Kinyarwanda-language broadcasts by BBC if the British radio did not change its editorial line. Broadcasts only resumed on June 23 after a two-month interruption. Rwandan pro-government daily the New Times reported in an article on June 26 that the minister had said BBC was guilty of “bad faith” and that if the station did not change the way it dealt with the 1994 genocide, broadcasts in Kinyarwanda would be... MORE
May 1, 2009

Rwandan government urged to lift ban on BBC’s local broadcasts

Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has written to Rwandan information minister Louise Mushikiwabo expressing deep concern about the “temporary suspension” of BBC broadcasts in the local language Kinyarwanda because of comments about the 1994 genocide which Rwandan citizens made in one of these broadcasts. “We are aware that the genocide continues to be a highly sensitive subject in your country and that Rwanda is engaged in a delicate process of national reconciliation, but we nonetheless think... MORE
October 16, 2008

Rwandan radio reporter freed after being held for 14 years on genocide charge

Dominique Makeli, a former reporter with state-owned Radio Rwanda who had held since 1994 on a vague, genocide-related charge, has been released, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. Makeli’s release on October 13 was a result of his acquittal by a gacaca (popular tribunal) in the Kigali district of Nyarugenge on October 5. Detained since September 18, 1994, he had been transferred from one detention centre to another, ending up in Kigali central prison, also known as “1930”. “This is... MORE
July 18, 2008

Deputy managing editor of independent weekly deported from Rwanda

Fuhara Mugisha, the deputy managing editor of Rwanda's leading independent weekly, Umuseso has been deported from the country. Despite having a Rwandan mother, Mugisha is a citizen of neighbouring Tanzania. "This is an unacceptable act of intimidation that yet again highlights the Rwandan government's inability to tolerate the few independent publications," Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said. "In the run-up to legislative elections, we remind the government that media diversity is... MORE
May 8, 2008

Rwanda’s press under increasing intimidation in run-up to elections

Rwanda’s independent media is facing increasing intimidation in the run-up to parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year. On Friday, three editors of private Kinyarwanda-language newspapers were suddenly expelled from the afternoon session of a World Press Freedom Day event at the Serena Hotel in the capital, Kigali, despite attending the media stakeholders’ forum since the morning as registered participants, according to local journalists and news reports. Jean Grober Burasa of... MORE
March 25, 2008

Rwandan editor goes into hiding after comparing President with Hitler

The Rwandan government has launched an intensive hunt for the founder and editor of the private bi-monthly newspaper Umuco “for insulting the president”. The newspaper has already been suspended for a year and Managing Editor Bonaventure Bizumuremyi is now in hiding after he compared President Paul Kagame to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Local journalists said six police cars surrounded Bizumuremyi’s home in capital Kigali late Wednesday as police seized documents, compact discs, and mobile phones... MORE