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Rwanda21 May 2002

The editor of the Rwanda Herald deported to Uganda

The Ugandan editor of the independent, privately-owned Rwanda Herald was deported by the Rwandan authorities on 19 May 2002. Reporters Without Borders has written to Rwanda’s Interior Minister, Jean de Dieu Ntiruhungwa, condemning this decision. "According to numerous local observers, this deportation is linked to the Rwanda Herald’s publication of articles critical of the regime in Kigali. We would like the Rwandan authorities to clarify this," said Robert Ménard, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders. "This journalist has been living in Rwanda since 1994 and we do not understand why he has suddenly been deported, for no apparent reason," he added.

According to information gathered by Reporters Without Borders, Asuman Bisiika, editor of the Rwanda Herald, was escorted to the Ugandan border on 19 May by Rwandan police. The journalist had 10 minutes in which to collect his belongings before being handed over to the Ugandan border guards.

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The Rwanda Herald had been particularly critical of the Rwandan authorities in recent weeks, notably publishing a number of articles concerning the arrest of Pasteur Bizimungu, the former President of the Republic, who is currently in prison in Kigali, accused of threatening state security and inciting racial hatred. Just a few days before the editor was arrested, the Rwanda Herald had also published an article criticising Rwanda’s immigration policy.

Reporters Without Borders reminds readers that President Paul Kagame has been denounced as one of the world’s 38 predators of press freedom.

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