9 February 1998


Journalist killed; six journalists still in prison

Incident details



(RSF/IFEX) - According to RSF, Wilson Ndayambadje, a reporter in Gisenyi
with the National Rwandan Radio and Television, was killed on 28 January
1998. Ndayambadje was beaten by a soldier from the national army, Emmanuel
Rutayisire, after a fight between the two men. Rutayisire was convicted of
murder and sentenced to death by a military tribunal on 29 January and
executed the same day.

**New case and updates - see text for dates**

RSF confirms that the following six journalists remain incarcerated:
Dominique Makeli, Gedeon Mushimiyimana, Joseph Ruyenzi, Albert Baudouin
Twizeyimana, Amiel Nkuliza and Joseph Habyarimana.


On 18 September 1994, Dominique Makeli, a journalist at Radio Rwanda, was
arrested. He is incarcerated at the prison in Rilima. He is accused of
taking part in the "Hutu Power" movement of the Democratic Republican
Movement (MDR) and of having incited racism on Radio Rwanda. However,
according to several witnesses, Makeli's arrest took place after protests
against the occupation of his home by the army (IFEX alert of 12 December
1994 and update of 6 February 1995).

On 17 March 1996, Gedeon Mushimiyimana, a journalist with Rwandan national
television, was arrested and imprisoned in Kigali's Central Prison. He was
accused of having taken part in several civilian massacres as a member of
the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), an extremist Hutu
movement implicated in the 1994 genocide. It is not possible at present to
determine the legitimacy of these accusations (not previously reported by IFEX).

On 30 March 1996, Joseph Ruyenzi, a journalist with the national radio,
Radio Rwanda, was arrested. His arrest followed a complaint made in March
1996 by Donatille Mujawimana, who accused Ruyenzi of rape, assault and
murder. However, this woman's testimony contains many contradictions.
According to Ruyenzi, he is the victim of a settling of accounts associated
with Radio Rwanda. Ruyenzi is currently detained in Kigali's Central Prison
(IFEX alert of 1 April 1996 and update of 9 August 1996).

On 10 May 1996, Albert Baudoin Twizeyimana, a journalist with Radio Rwanda,
was arrested and imprisoned at the police barracks in Kigali. He was accused
of participating in genocide in his native region of Kibungo. It is not
possible at present to determine the legitimacy of these accusations (not
previously reported by IFEX).

On 13 May 1997, Amiel Nkuliza, director of the daily, "Le Partisan", was
arrested in front of the offices of the Rwandan National Printing House in
Kigali. Witnesses on the scene report that Nkuliza was taken away in a truck
by soldiers. He is currently detained in the Kimironko Prison in Kigali.
According to Nkuliza, he has been accused of inciting racism in his
writings. Nkuliza was previously arrested in June and August 1996. During
his detention, a soldier warned him that his days were numbered if he wrote
other articles deemed "subversive" by the authorities (not previously
reported by IFEX).

On 28 October 1997, Joseph Habyarimana, editor of the magazine
"Indorerwamo", was arrested and first placed in detention in the Cyahafi
district, in the town of Nyarugenge, Kigali, where he was reportedly beat
up. He was transferred to Kigali's Central Prison during the week of 3
November. Habyarimana was accused of editing an article, which appeared
under a pseudonym, in the December 1996 edition of the newspaper published
in Kinyarwanda, "Intergo." Title "Cyahafi District: Where Are We?" ("Secteur
Cyahafi : ou en est-on ?"), the article discussed the pressure exercised by
the Councillor of Cyahafi district by a person known as Immaculee, with the
aim of gaining the arrest of Hutus accused by the Councillor of having
participated in the 1994 genocide. The article concluded by calling to the
population to live in harmony in spite of ethnic divisions (IFEX alert of
13 November 1997).

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Dominique Makeli and
    Joseph Habyarimana
  • asking them to release information on the official charges against Gedeon
    Mushimiyimana, Joseph Ruyenzi, Albert Baudoin Twizeyimana and Amiel Nkuliza,
    and demanding that the journalists receive a fair trial, regardless of the
    charges against them
  • appealing to them to release details of the circumstances of Wilson
    Ndayambadje's death

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Pasteur Bizimungu
    Presidential Palace
    Kigali, Rwanda

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris
    rsf (@) rsf.org
    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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