World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Rwanda: Government Must Honour Press Freedom

Rwanda: Government should honour its commitment to respect press freedom

Amnesty International is urging the Government of Rwanda to do its utmost to foster the independence of the press and to refrain from interfering in judicial decisions by using the law to repress journalistic activities.

Charles Kabonero, the 24-year-old editor of the beleaguered newspaper Umuseso, Rwanda’s main independent weekly, is awaiting a verdict in a lawsuit brought by the Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, Denis Polisi. The District Prosecutor has requested a four-year prison sentence and a fine of 300,000 Rwandan francs (about US $540). Mr. Polisi’s lawyer has asked for damages of 50,000,000 Rwandan francs (about US $90,090). The verdict is expected on Tuesday, November 23.

Mr. Kabonero was tried on 16 November on criminal charges of "divisionism" and defamation, primarily for writing about Mr. Polisi’s supposed political ambitions in an article published in early August 2004. The imposition of 50,000,000 Rwandan francs in damages would effectively shut down the independent newspaper.

Last Wednesday, two other journalists were detained: Patrice Nsengiyumva, the director of the Press House (Maison de la Presse), and Bonaventure Bizimuremyi, editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Umucyo. They were brought before a magistrate after one week, considerably longer than the 72 hours mandated by law. They were held incommunicado, but were eventually granted access to lawyers and family members. They were provisionally released on 18 November, and judicial investigations were ongoing.

The Rwanda Law Reform Commission noted in June 2003 its commitment to reinforcing the independence of the judiciary "as the basis for sustainable peace and development in Rwanda". Amnesty International commends those judges and magistrates who struggle to withstand political pressures and the temptation of corruption to uphold the rule of law.

View all documents on Rwanda at: http://amnesty-new.c.topica.com/maacTqzabbVK4bb0hPub/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 




UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...
More>>





Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>