Two Rwandan journalists were released from prison in June and July 2013 after completing their jail terms, according to news reports.
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.
New York, May 18, 2012--Authorities in Rwanda have imprisoned a radio presenter without charge since April 24 for allegedly uttering a phrase deemed offensive to the survivors and victims of the 1994 genocide, according to local reports and local journalists.
New York, February 4, 2011--Harsh prison sentences given to two journalists today under Rwanda's vague and sweeping laws against "genocide ideology" and "divisionism" will have a chilling effect on the Rwandan press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
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.
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