Umuseso

24 results arranged by date

20 years after genocide, Rwanda safe, clean, undemocratic

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and First Lady Janet Kagame lay a wreath at a genocide memorial in Kigali on April 7. (AFP/Simon Maina)

"Do not forget the genocide," said the voice of a state broadcast announcer in Kigali crackling through a cheap car radio, referring to the organized slaughter 20 years ago of more than 10 percent of the population. "We are all one now," he said, speaking in Rwanda's common language of Kinyarwanda, and meaning that Rwandans no longer identify themselves as being either Hutu or Tutsi.

Crisis in East Africa

Fifty-seven journalists fled their country in the past year, with Somalia sending the greatest number into exile. Journalists also fled Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Rwanda--mostly for Kenya and Uganda. Exiles in East Africa must grapple with poverty and fear. A CPJ special report by María Salazar-Ferro and Tom Rhodes

Somali journalists carry the body of Abdisalan Sheikh Hassan of Horn Cable TV who was killed in December 2011. Fear of violence is one of the top reasons why journalists flee into exile. (AFP/Mohamed Abdiwahab)
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.

The editors of Rwanda's once-leading newspaper now publish from exile. (CPJ)
Though it has been a dark year for Rwanda's press, it has also been a year of resistance and turning to a new sort of reporting--from exile.

Ever since Rwandan authorities began cracking down on the nation's independent press before the presidential elections in August, the space for critical reporting has been dissipating.

New York, April 13, 2010The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s decision by Rwanda’s Media High Council to suspend 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 vernacular weeklies, Umuseso and Umuvugizi.

Editor Charles Kabonero has been given a year in jail for invading the privacy of two politicians. (Phil Carpenter)New York, February 23, 2010—Three journalists were sentenced to prison on Monday in Rwanda over a story reporting on an extramarital affair between the mayor of the capital, Kigali, and a government minister, according to local journalists and news reports.

CPJ sat down recently with the Rwandan minister of information, Louise Mushikiwabo, who spoke of several media developments, including a new press law. “I am convinced the new legislation will help professionalize our media—there were many holes in the former law,” she told CPJ. Some, however, do not share her enthusiasm. 

On paper, Rwanda had more private newspapers and radio stations than at any point in its history. In practice, independent news coverage was minimal due to business woes and government intimidation. One critical editor was forced to flee the country, and a second was deported. Legislation pending in late year would stiffen accreditation requirements and force journalists to reveal sources in court.

May 7, 2008

His Excellency Paul Kagame
President of the Republic of Rwanda
c/o Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States
1714 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

Via facsimile: (202) 232-4544

Dear Mr. President:

As an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to upholding the principles of press freedom worldwide, we would like to express our concern about the increasing intimidation by your government of Rwanda's independent media in the run-up to parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year.

Tension remained high between the independent news media and President Paul Kagame’s government in the run-up to the 2008 parliamentary elections. Authorities summarily closed two private newspapers, stripped critical newspapers of vital advertising revenue, and jailed one journalist and harassed others in response to critical coverage. The bloody legacy of the 1994 genocide continued to affect press freedom as the government and its supporters invoked claims of hate speech to silence dissenting voices.

24 results

1 2 3 Next Page »