Rwandan journalists “silenced” by defamation charge
02 Mar 10

Three Rwandan journalists have been found guilty of defaming two government ministers, in a move that has described by the Committee to Protect Journalists as an effort to silence critical journalism in the country. Former editor Charles Kabonero, acting editor-in-chief Didas Gasana, and reporter Richard Kayigamba of the private weekly newspaper Umuseso were sentenced to prison terms under Rwanda’s 2009 Media Law for a story highlighting an extramarital affair between the mayor of Kigali, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, and Cabinet Affairs Minister Protais Musoni. The court did, however, turn down a request from the prosecution for the newspaper to be banned. Umuseso has previously been found guilty of libel after publishing an article about the parliamentary deputy speaker Denis Polisi’s political ambitions in 2004.