6 journalists in court for broadcasting false information

by Lawyer Wanz

Rwandan officials detained six journalists on Thursday in an opposition party on suspicion of spreading falsehoods with the intent of inciting an insurrection, according to the investigative bureau.

According to Rwanda Investigation Bureau spokeswoman Thierry Murangira, Theoneste Nsengimana, who owns Umubavu TV, an internet station that frequently broadcasts information critical of the government, was among those detained.

“The journalists are accused of publication of rumors intended to cause uprising or unrest among the population,” he said.

They have commonality, they are an organized group with the intention to spread rumors intended to cause uprising or unrest among the population using different social media platforms.”

Nsengimana’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Others arrested include members and supporters of opposition leader Victoire Ingabire.

“Members of DALFA-Umurinzi arrested again: We request RIB to ensure their rights are respected. We have not yet been informed of the reasons behind their arrest,” Ingabire said on Twitter.

On Tuesday, Nsengimana had posted on his YouTube channel a woman urging people to celebrate “Ingabire day” on Thursday to honor opposition figures who have been jailed, kidnapped, and killed.

Critics say that Rwandan authorities have been cracking down on critical YouTube channels including one owned by former university lecturer Aimable Karasira, who was arrested in June and charged with denying the 1994 genocide. He denied the charge.

Critics have accused President Paul Kagame’s government of human rights abuses although it has had support from Western donors for restoring stability in the years after the genocide and boosting economic growth.
Kagame denies accusations of abuse.

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