15 October 1998

Alert

Update on status of detained journalists


Incident details

Dominique Makeli, Joseph Habyarimana, Gédéon Mushimiyimana, Joseph Ruyenzi, Albert Baudouin Twizeyimana, Amiel Nkuliza

journalist(s)

detained


(RSF/IFEX) - According to information released by RSF on 13 October 1998,
the Rwandan Minister of Justice, Faustin Ntezilyayo, will soon free 10,000
prisoners. RSF has issued this update on the status of the following
detained journalists: Dominique Makeli, Joseph Habyarimana, Gédéon
Mushimiyimana, Joseph Ruyenzi, Albert Baudouin Twizeyimana and Amiel
Nkuliza.




**Updates IFEX alerts as noted in text**
Dominique Makeli, a journalist with the national radio, Radio Rwanda, was
arrested on 18 September 1994. He is being held at the prison in Rilima.
Makeli is accused of having been a member of the "Hutu Power" wing of the
Democratic Republican Movement (Mouvement Démocrate Républicain, MDR) and
inciting racial hatred on Radio Rwanda. However, according to certain
witnesses, the real reason for his arrest is his having protested against
the military's occupation of his house.


**See IFEX alerts of 17 and 9 February 1998, and 6 February1995**


Joseph Habyarimana, a writer for "Indorerwamo" magazine, was arrested on 28
October 1997. He was first held in solitary confinement in the Cyahafi
district of the town of Nyarugenge, where he was reportedly beaten. The
journalist was tranferred to Kigali's central prison during the week of 3
November 1997. He is accused of having written an article, which appeared
under a pseudonym, in the December 1996 edition of the kinyarwanda newspaper
"Intego". Entitled "Cyahafi District: Where Do We Stand Now?" ("Secteur
Cyahafi: où en est-on?"), the article discussed pressures, brought forward
by a woman named Immaculée to the Cyahafi district counsellor, designed to
gain more arrests of Hutus she claimed had participated in the 1994
genocide. The article ended with an appeal for racial harmony among the
population, in spite of ethnic tensions.


**See IFEX alerts of 9 February 1998 and 13 November 1997**


Gédéon Mushimiyimana, a journalist with Rwandan national television, was
arrested on 17 March 1996, and is being held at Kigali's central prison. He
is accused of having taken part in the massacre of civilians as a member of
the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (Coalition pour la défense de
la république, CDR), an extremist Hutu movement implicated in the 1994
genocide. It is not possible at present to determine the legitimacy of these
accusations.


** See IFEX alert of 9 February 1998**


Joseph Ruyenzi, a journalist with Radio Rwanda, was arrested on 30 March
1996. His arrest followed a complaint made in March 1996 by Donatille
Mujawimana, who accuses him of rape, assault and murder. However, this
woman's testimony contains many contradictions. The journalist considers
himself to be a victim of a settling of accounts designed to remove him from
the national radio. Ruyenzi is currently being held at Kigali's central
prison.


** See IFEX alerts of 9 February 1998, 9 August and 1 April 1996**


Albert Baudoin Twizeyimana, a journalist with Radio Rwanda, was arrested on
10 May 1996. He is being held at the police barracks in Kigali, accused of
participating in genocide in his native region of Kibungo. At present it is
not possible to determine the legitimacy of these accusations.


** See IFEX alert of 9 February 1998**


Amiel Nkuliza, director of the daily "Le Partisan", was arrested on the
afternoon of 13 May 1997, in front of the offices of the Rwandan National
Printing House in Kigali. He is currently being held at the Kimironko prison
in Kigali. According to Nkuliza, he is accused of inciting ethnic hatred in
his writing. He 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.


** See IFEX alerts of 17 and 9 February 1998, and 30, 16 and 9 August
1996**


Recommended Action


Send appeals to the Minister of Justice:

  • urging him to use his influence to secure the immediate release of
    Dominique Makeli and Joseph Habyarimana
  • asking him to review the cases of Gédéon Mushimiyimana, Joseph Ruyenzi,
    Albert Baudoin Twizeyimana and Amiel Nkuliza, accused of having participated
    in the 1994 genocide, and, if the charges prove unfounded, arrange for their
    release




    Appeals To



    Mr. Faustin Ntezilyayo
    Minister of Justice
    Ministry of Justice
    Kigali, Rwanda
    Fax: +250 86 509







    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.





  • Source

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