News+Politics December 2, 2011
Outspoken Critic of Rwandan Government Murdered

It has been less than two weeks since the International Day to End Impunity, and Reporters Without Borders is already reporting the murder of another journalist.

Charles Ingabire was a well-known and outspoken critic of Paul Kagame's government in Rwanda, and had been living in exile in Uganda since 2007. He was shot at point blank range after leaving a Kampala pub early yesterday morning. Police are still looking for the killer, though they have arrested two suspects for questioning.

Ingabire was the the editor of Inyenyeri News website, through which he had levelled criticisms against the authorities in Rwanda. He had done the same at the Kigali-based newspaper Umuco before fleeing the country for "political reasons", according Uganda police.

Two months ago, Ingabire was attacked in Kampala by two assailants who reportedly told him to shut down his website, and he had been receiving threatening phone calls and messages.

According to Reporters Without Borders, this is the second murder of a Rwandan journalist in the past 18 months, after Jean-Leonard Rugambage was killed in Kigali in June, 2010.

While commentators, especially those among Rwanda's exile community, were quick to point the finger at Kagame, the Rwandan government denied any connection to the incident, and described accusations that it targeted political opponents "preposterous." Human rights groups, however, have been raising concerns that the Rwandan authorities are becoming more ruthless and repressive. According to Reuters, police in Britain last May warned a Rwandan dissident living in exile they believed he was at risk of being targeted by Rwandan security operatives.

On November 22, we posted about the International Day to End Impunity, a global event recognizing the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives while trying to pursue the freedom of expression. More than 500 journalists have been killed in the last 10 years, and in nine out of 10 cases, the murderers have gone free.



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