Saturday, August 23, 2014

Rwanda: The batshit crazy country.

Jeune Afrique reports ( I have used Jeune Afrique's  translation service and cleaned up the copy ).

Rwanda: Media told to apologize for accusing Ingabire of witchcraft 

                                                               Ingabire with her British lawyer Iain Edwards

The Rwandan media regulatory authority has ordered three newspapers to publish an apology and offer a right of reply for accusing Ingabire of witchcraft. Ingabire is imprisoned for "terrorism."

Two aspects are worth noting here, first it is no surprise that the media organisation felt they had carte blanche to make such fucking ridiculous accusations. Victoire Ingabire has been the victim of an incredible miscarriage of justice and one that could only have been orchestrated by Kagame. The second and from this blogs perspective far more important aspect is that the Rwandan Media Commission has had the balls to go into bat for Ingabire. Kagame has not yet managed to strangle all independent thought from non governmental officials.  

A website, and Umusingi newspaper had published a photograph of Ms. Ingabire carrying a child in her arms, accusing her of trying to cast a spell, according to information relayed by Radio One in its press release.

Which I would suggest speaks volumes for the state of the media in Rwanda again something that can be laid at the feet of Kagame.

The picture was taken on March 8 during the celebrations of the International Women's Day in Kigali prison where Ingabire, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for "conspiracy against the government by terrorism and war" and for " minimizing the genocide " of 1994 in Rwanda has been incarcerated since 2010. These media " have not submitted facts " to support their accusations and " admitted defaming Ingabire," said Fred Muvunyi Friday, President of the of the Rwandan Media Commission.

It will be interesting to see if there are any further developments in this story. I suspect not, this ruling will probably get overturned by some sort of insane defence as " freedom of speech ". I can't imagine Kigali allowing Ingabire a platform to speak to the Rwandan people on this or any issue. David Farrar of Kiwiblog made an interesting observation on free speech on his blog.

" Some people here are fucking idiots. Free speech is not speech free of consequences."

Although unrelated to this issue Farrar is spot on the media in this case are fucking idiots and even if they avoid the sanction of the RMC they will discover there are consequences, journalists without credibility are a waste of space.


"The articles published by the media and reported on air by Radio One in its press review are defamatory of 
Victoire Ingabire ", said the RMC in its decision.

I think deformation would have to be proved in court and that will never happen for Ingabire in Rwanda.

They were ordered to write a letter of apology to Ms. Ingabire, to apologize to their readers or listeners admitting their mistake and to publish or read an on-air response from Ingabire.

As I said above I would be very surprised if Kagali allowed that to happen.

Victoire Ingabire, 45, is president of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) opposition party, not legally recognized. She was arrested in October 2010, two months after a presidential poll in which she could not participate as she had intended, against President Paul Kagame, who was re-elected. Rwandan justice has asserted Ingabire has links with the Democratic Force for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed group based in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the sworn enemy of the Kigali authorities who accused the FDLR of being led by former executives of the Hutu regime responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

I have no doubt at all the FDLR leadership are amongst those responsible for the 1994 genocide. There is no evidence whatsoever to link Ingabire to those genocidal bastards. Ingabire is a prisoner of conscience and a worthy successor to the mantle of Madiba.

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