It would have come as a surprise had the usual culprits not taken advantage of the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to promote their own narrative.
The media focus that usually accompanies the annual remembrance of the over one million victims who perished in the Genocide is an opportunity not to miss.
Reporters Without Frontiers (RSF, by its French initials) has no love lost for Rwanda, therefore it was expected that they would not keep idle. The refusal by Rwandan Immigration to grant entry to a person convicted on drug charges in the US – freelance journalist or not – gave RSF the opportunity it could not miss.
The organisation’s lack of fairness and due diligence in compiling its latest report seriously mars its credibility. It is a country’s sovereign right to bar or allow entry into its territory. It becomes even more imperative when the subject has a criminal record that RSF seems to conveniently overlook.
Press freedom cannot be achieved according to RSF’s bible but through the will of the practitioners to adhere to the highest ethical norms. Not half-baked and biased reports that feed on innuendoes and hearsay.
Many international organisations that work directly with the local media would have been better sources of information on the state of the media, than a group of foreign journalists or exiles who have an axe to grind with the current establishment in Kigali.
But then, going by RSF’s modus operandi, it seems to be driven by something more than just advocating for Rwandan media freedoms.