Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Press Groups Protest Jailing of Rwanda Journalists

Paul KagameImage via WikipediaThe imprisonment of Agnes Nksui, editor of the Rwandan daily, Umurabyo, and Umurabyo reporter Saidath Mukakibibi by the repressive regime of Rwanda President Paul Kagame has drawn fire from media organizations, Agence France Presse reports.

Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the incarceration of the two female journalists for defamation and inciting a breach of the peace. Nksui received a 17-year jail term and Mukakibibi was sentenced to seven years following their arrest in July 2010. Publication of Umurabyo was halted for six months, according to the AFP story.

The two journalists took President Kagame's government to task over its interpretation of Rwanda's 1994 genocide and also were critical of government officials.  The government pursued criminal prosecution of Nksui and Mukakibibi, rather than institute a disciplinary proceeding before the nation's Media High Council.  Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front party has held tight rein over the nation since 1994.

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