Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Rwanda

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1997
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Rwanda, February 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c56515c.html [accessed 28 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The alarming numbers of killings and other acts of violence against unarmed civilians perpetrated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front have sabotaged Rwandans' efforts to rebuild their country. Citizens and returnees have fallen victim to arbitrary detention, gross abuse, or murder, and the overstretched, at times non-existent, judicial system leaves little recourse for these victims.

Although Rwandan Fundamental Law provides for freedom of the press, security forces continue to assault, kidnap, and detain members of the independent press. Journalists practice self-censorship to avoid being arrested for their reporting and to protect themselves against accusations of perpetrating the genocide. Some journalists have gone undercover in fear for their lives. Privately owned newspapers that practice critical reporting have been subject to seizures and outright government bans.

Broadcast media are state controlled. And, given the role that hate radio has played in stirring up the antagonisms that contributed to the 1994 genocide, it is unlikely that the government will grant licenses to private radio stations in the foreseeable future.

July 30
Appolos Hakizimana, Intego, IMPRISONED
Intego, CENSORED

Hakizimana, a journalist with the privately owned newspaper Intego, was detained by police and accused of being an "interahamwe," a term used to describe Hutu accomplices to genocide. He was held at the Muhima Brigade in Kigali. The arrest occurred after authorities seized the July issue of Intego and banned publication of future issues until further notice. It is believed the ban was prompted by an article in the seized issue that was critical of certain government authorities and a government campaign to raise awareness about security risks posed by armed opposition groups. The article implied that these awareness-raising efforts resembled a terror campaign. Hakizimana was released during the week of Aug. 19.

August 6
Amiel Nkuliza, Intego and Le Partisan, IMPRISONED
Intego, CENSORED

Nkuliza, director of the privately owned newspaper Intego and editor of the independent newspaper Le Partisan, was arrested without charge by officers of the Rwanda security forces. The arrest occurred after authorities seized the July issue of Intego and banned publication of future issues until further notice. It is believed the ban was prompted by an article in the seized issue that was critical of certain government authorities and a government campaign to raise awareness about security risks posed by armed opposition groups. The article implied that these awareness-raising efforts resembled a terror campaign. Nkuliza was released on Aug. 13.

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