In Rwanda, the internet and social networks are now in the sights of the authorities. In its latest report, published today, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Human Rights Watch once again condemns the harassment of bloggers and youtubers.
After the written press, the audio press is now the internet which is the goal of the Rwandan authorities. For two years, almost a dozen journalists, commentators or simple bloggers have been arrested and convicted. As Ivonne Idamangesentenced to 15 years in prison for criticizing the government on her YouTube channel, which has almost 19,000 subscribers, explains Lewis Mudge from Human Rights Watch.
“Ivonne Idamange started commenting on YouTube against Covid-19 restrictions. She said things against the current president, President Kagame. She even hinted that the president was dead. She said things that are considered too sensitive, but not illegal. She convicted of crimes such as rebellion against state authorities or incitement to revolt against the state. “
Disproportionate reaction The researcher continues, most worryingly, it is the authorities’ disproportionate reaction to reports or discussions that is not always political. As sentence blogger Dieudonné Niyonsega to seven years in prison, known as Cyuma Hassan; for violating locking rules and using a fake press card during reporting.
Severe punishments are usually imposed on those who are considered a threat to state security. For HRW, this is an insulting indictment that violates freedom of expression.
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