Rwanda arrests newspaper director

Rwandan authorities had arrested the director of a privately owned

newspaper on charges of incitement, denial of the 1994 genocide and contempt of

the head of state.

Agnes Uwimana, who has already served a one-year jail sentence for

defamation and promoting division, was arrested on Thursday, said police spokesperson Eric

Kayiranga.

Kayiranga said Uwimana was accused of “incitement to civil

disobedience, contempt of the head of state, spreading rumours to cause public

disorder and denying the genocide of the Tutsis”.

In recent weeks, the government media regulatory body had warned

Uwimana, who runs the Umurabyo newspaper, over her articles. She resumed

publication after serving her term in early 2008.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called

for her immediate release.

“Once again, Rwandan authorities invoke national security and the

legacy of the 1994 genocide to silence one of the few dissenting voices in the

shrinking independent Rwandan press,” said CPJ Africa advocacy co-ordinator

Mohamed Keita.

“We call on authorities to release Agnes Uwimana immediately. She

should not go to prison for expressing her views a month before presidential

elections,” Keita said.

Meanwhile, the public prosecutor’s office said on Friday that it

had concluded its probe and handed the courts a case of two people suspected of

being behind the murder of a journalist last month.

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 near his house in Kigali on June 25.

Kigali has denied any involvement in the Johannesburg shooting of

General Faustin Nyamwasa.



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