New York, June 6, 2011--The Supreme Court sentenced the exiled online editor of Umuvugizi, Jean Bosco Gasasira, on Friday to a two year and six month term in prison. Gasasira received this sentence for allegedly insulting Rwanda's president and inciting civil disobedience, local journalists told CPJ. Gasasira believes the new sentence may stem from an online article he wrote that compared Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, he said. The opinion piece concluded that the Rwandan president was more tyrannical than the Zimbabwean leader.
By Mohamed Keita
Across the continent, the emergence of in-depth reporting and the absence of effective access-to-information laws have set a collision course in which public officials, intent on shielding their activities, are moving aggressively to unmask confidential sources, criminalize the possession of government documents, and retaliate against probing journalists. From Cameroon to Kenya, South Africa to Senegal, government reprisals have resulted in imprisonments, violence, threats, and legal harassment. At least two suspicious deaths--one involving an editor, the other a confidential source--have been reported in the midst of government reprisals against probing news coverage.
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.
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1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
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