Rwanda

2011


Blog   |   Eritrea, Ethiopia, Journalist Assistance, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda

In Nairobi, plans to improve aid to exiled journalists

Kassahun Yilma left Ethiopia quickly in December 2009. He didn't have time to save money for the journey, choose a place to go, arrange housing or a job. He left his wife, his mother, his house and all his friends behind. Yilma didn't know what lay ahead. He only knew that if he stayed, he risked becoming a victim of a government-waged campaign against Addis Neger, the newspaper where he worked as a reporter.  "I ran away just to save my life," says Yilma, "because I was in fear for it."

December 16, 2011 10:25 AM ET

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Blog   |   Rwanda, Uganda

The silent funeral of an exiled Rwandan journalist

Charles Ingabire was shot dead at 32. (Ally Mugenzi/BBC)

The crime reporter for Uganda's vibrant Daily Monitor, Andrew Bagala, went to an odd funeral over the weekend. Last week, he covered the murder of online journalist Charles Ingabire, 32, who was shot dead in the early hours of Thursday morning by unknown gunmen at a bar in a Kampala suburb. "I decided to follow up the case and attend the funeral," he told me. "It was first funeral I have ever been to in Africa where there was silence."

December 5, 2011 5:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   Rwanda

Rwandan paper calls president a 'sociopath', apologizes

(Izuba)

Sometimes when a paper produces a defamatory piece, an apology will be published on page two in the next edition along with the day's news. In Rwanda, it would appear, a paper will use an entire edition to apologize--if the insults were directed at the president. The latest issue of Ishema, at left, is perhaps a sign of the times for Rwanda's press.

The vernacular bimonthly had recently published an opinion piece written under the byline "Kamikaze" that claimed President Kagame was a sociopath. Many within the media community protested, as did Adrien Servumba, who, branding himself "a concerned citizen," called on the state-run media ombudsman to reprimand the managing director, Fidele Gakire, the state news agency reported. On July 25, the agency reported that men in plainclothes seized copies of the paper from vendors. The same day, members of the Forum of Private Newspapers, an organization of newspaper owners, suspended Gakire from the group for six months. 

Alerts   |   Rwanda

Rwanda: Exiled editor sentenced for 'insulting' president

Gasasira in exile. (Gasasira)

New York, June 6, 2011--The Supreme Court 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 CPJ. Gasasira believes the new sentence may stem from an online article he wrote that compared Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, he said. The opinion piece concluded that the Rwandan president was more tyrannical than the Zimbabwean leader.

June 6, 2011 6:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   Rwanda

Rwanda's Kagame and journalist get into Twitter spat

President Paul Kagame is a leader who draws sharply divided opinions--praise from some for rebuilding Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and criticism from others over a record of repression of dissent and the press. On Saturday, a tweet critical of Kagame by British columnist Ian Birrell sparked a heated exchange about press freedom between the two men on the social networking site. 

May 16, 2011 2:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda

Nairobi Attacks launch probes investigative reporting

Journalists at CPJ's Nairobi launch of Attacks on the Press today. (CPJ)At CPJ's book launch of our annual survey of press freedom conditions across the world, Attacks on the Press, today in Nairobi, we focused on the growing theme of challenges to investigative journalism in Africa, with a particular look at East Africa. The subject certainly resonated with the local and foreign journalists here. 
February 15, 2011 3:01 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Attacks on the Press 2010: Africa Analysis

Across Continent, Governments Criminalize
Investigative Reporting

Ivory Coast's President and 2010 presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo talks to the press. (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

By Mohamed Keita

Across the continent, the emergence of in-depth reporting and the absence of effective access-to-information laws have set a collision course in which public officials, intent on shielding their activities, are moving aggressively to unmask confidential sources, criminalize the possession of government documents, and retaliate against probing journalists. From Cameroon to Kenya, South Africa to Senegal, government reprisals have resulted in imprisonments, violence, threats, and legal harassment. At least two suspicious deaths--one involving an editor, the other a confidential source--have been reported in the midst of government reprisals against probing news coverage.

Attacks on the Press   |   Rwanda

Attacks on the Press 2010: Rwanda

Top Developments
• Government drives Kinyarwanda- language papers out of print before presidential vote.
• Critical newspaper editor assassinated. Skepticism greets police investigation.

Key Statistic
93: Percentage of vote taken by incumbent Paul Kagame in presidential election. He faced no credible opposition.


Before a crowd of thousands in Kigali, just days before he was re-elected in August in a virtually uncontested race, President Paul Kagame declared that "those who give our country a bad image can take a rope and hang themselves," the BBC reported. Kagame's antagonism toward critics guided his administration's approach to the press throughout the election year. The government shut the nation's two leading independent weeklies in April, silenced several other news outlets in the weeks before the vote, and harassed critical editors in court. In the most startling development, the acting editor of the independent weekly Umuvugizi, Jean-Léonard Rugambage, was gunned down outside his Kigali home in what appeared to be a planned assassination. Police immediately labeled the killing a reprisal for the editor's supposed involvement in the 1994 genocide, a conclusion that was greeted with deep skepticism from journalists.

February 15, 2011 12:18 AM ET

Alerts   |   Rwanda

CPJ opposes prison terms for 2 Rwandan journalists

Umuvugizi

New York, January 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists opposes prosecution demands for lengthy prison sentences for the editor and deputy editor of the independent weekly Umurabyo. State Prosecutor Agustin Nkusi requested a 33-year prison sentence for Editor Agnès Uwimana, at left, and 12 years for her deputy, Saidati Mukakibibi, at a High Court hearing on Thursday in the capital, Kigali.

The two, arrested in July 2010, face charges of incitement to violence, genocide denial, and insulting the head of state in connection with several opinion pieces published in mid-2010, according to news reports.

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