Document - Rwanda: Unsafe to speak out: Restrictions on freedom of expression in Rwanda: Media advisory

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL MEDIA ADVISORY

31 May 2011

Index: AFR 47/004/2011

Unsafe to speak out: Restrictions on freedom of expression in Rwanda

On 3 June 2011 Amnesty International will launch a short campaign document calling on the Rwandan authorities to review ‘genocide ideology’ and ‘sectarianism’ laws that are being used to suppress political dissent and stifle freedom of speech in the country. The months leading up to the August 2010 presidential elections, which President Kagame won with 93 per cent of the vote, were marked by a clampdown on freedom of expression through regulatory sanctions, restrictive laws and criminal defamation cases. The Rwandan government has expressed a commitment to review laws which are used to criminalize criticism, but recent trials of journalists and opposition politicians suggest that Rwanda’s critics still face prosecution and imprisonment. Amnesty International is calling on President Kagame to allow opposition politicians, journalists and human rights defenders to express their views without fear for their safety. Spokespeople will be available for interview on 3 June in English and French. To arrange an interview or get a copy of the 8-page campaign digest on this subject please contact Katy Pownall on +44 (0)7961 421 583 or email on katy.pownall@amnesty.org Ends

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