Among the 232 journalists imprisoned
around the world are Rwandan editors Agnès Uwimana and Saidati Mukakibibi, who are serving years-long
terms on charges they defamed the president, Paul Kagame, and incited violence.
Their crime? The women had published a series of stories in 2010
on several sensitive issues the Kagame government doesn't want scrutinized. The
articles criticized government agricultural policy, examined the July 2010 murder
of journalist Jean-Léonard Rugambage, described the falling-out between Kagame
and two now-exiled military leaders, probed divisions within the army, and
pushed for justice for ethnic Hutus killed in the 1994 genocide. The editors
have exhausted domestic appeals, but now a team of defense lawyers is pursuing
a complaint with the African Commission on
Human and People's Rights on grounds that Rwanda violated its obligations
to ensure freedom of expression and the right to fair trial.