Cartoons that 'humiliate' officials in Rwanda now a crime

accreditation
iStock
iStock

A new law in Rwanda says drawing cartoons or producing writing that "humiliates" a government official is now a criminal offense.

Journalists say the law that took effect on Thursday will greatly affect work that is meant to hold public officials, including Cabinet members and security officers, to account.

A cartoonist who breaks the law faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $1 145. If the cartoon targets a member of parliament or top-ranking official, the penalty doubles.

At least one Justice Ministry official is asking who will determine whether someone has been humiliated. The Rwanda Journalists Association's executive secretary says it's easy for officials to take cartoons negatively.

Defaming Rwanda's head of state already was illegal, bringing five to seven years in prison.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
The EFF has voted with the DA to ensure they now govern Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Was this:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
A brilliant strategic move by the DA not to make formal coalition agreements
24% - 1910 votes
A brilliant strategic move by the EFF to force the DA to negotiate with them
16% - 1293 votes
A recipe for disaster and five more years of unstable local government
60% - 4746 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.27
-1.9%
Rand - Pound
21.71
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.42
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-0.0%
Gold
1,792.60
0.0%
Silver
23.13
0.0%
Palladium
1,751.49
0.0%
Platinum
955.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
72.72
-11.6%
Top 40
62,411
-2.6%
All Share
68,615
-2.8%
Resource 10
64,074
-2.5%
Industrial 25
92,909
-1.3%
Financial 15
12,995
-6.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE