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Cablegate: Rwanda: Congolese Journalist Arrested

VZCZCXYZ0012
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #0195 0590643
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280643Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3821
INFO RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0017
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0828
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1543
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0185
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0788
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0208

UNCLAS KIGALI 000195

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV RW
SUBJECT: RWANDA: CONGOLESE JOURNALIST ARRESTED

REF: KIGALI 49

1. (SBU) Deputy Prosecutor General Alphonse Hitiyaremye
confirmed to polchief on February 27 the recent arrest of
Congolese citizen Idesbald Byabuze. Byabuze, reportedly a
professor at the Bakuvu Catholic University, as well as the
publisher of a Bakuvu newspaper, the Mashariki News, is in
custody at the Central Kigali "1930" prison. Although there
is some dispute as to which of his publications led to this
arrest, most sources point to a 2005 article entitled Rwanda
Alert, in which the author denounces at length an alleged
Tutsi domination of Rwanda's Hutu majority. Byabuze
apparently crossed into Rwanda in the last several weeks to
begin teaching as a visiting instructor at the Kigali campus
of UNILAC, the Private International University of Central
Africa.

2. (SBU) Hitiyaremye said that investigation of the
journalist "continued" without formal charges so far levied
against him. However, likely offenses included denial of the
genocide and divisionism. His "preventive detention" would
continue for up to 30 days. When asked if the GOR would
consider expelling the journalist rather than prosecuting
him, Hitiyaremye said no, the accused was present on Rwandan
soil, had likely broken Rwandan law, and would have to answer
for his offenses in a court of law.

3. (SBU) Comment. This is the second journalist arrested
this year, both for published articles that explicitly
proclaim the existence of a Tutsi hegemony and thorough-going
oppression of the Hutus (reftel). This latest example is
less harshly and emotionally critical of the Kagame
government, but more comprehensive in its litany of evils
purportedly committed by the present government. As noted in
earlier reporting, the GOR now tolerates wide-ranging
criticism of its policies without comment (such as January
articles in several independent newspapers questioning
Kagame's "dictatorial" tendencies), but it reacts with
alacrity when explicit ethnic attacks are made against it and
its policies. End comment.
ARIETTI

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