The Reporters Without Borders 2010 report released yesterday, completely mischaracterizes the situation of the media in Rwanda.
The remarks were made by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Protais Musoni, who is also the overseer of the Ministry of Information:
“Reporters Without Borders have chosen once again to issue biased and irresponsible information that distorts the reality in Rwanda, based on unverified and grossly distorted perceptions of the political situation,” he said.
Musoni added that the “climate of terror” during the August elections, as described by Reporters Without borders, is but mere invention.
“On the contrary, the elections were described by the Commonwealth Observer Group as having been conducted in a peaceful atmosphere… Campaign freedoms were provided for candidates, and they enjoyed freedom of movement and assembly in the conduct of their campaigns; and the European Union congratulated Rwanda for the organization of the Presidential Elections, in particular the calm atmosphere.
“There is no effort by Reporters without borders to point out the truth regarding the six-month suspension of two tabloids, which were suspended for chronic failure to adhere to the media law, with reporting that was ethnically divisive and damaging to the efforts towards national reconciliation, in the manner previously seen in the period leading to the genocide in 1994,” Musoni said.
He added that there was no basis for Reporters Without Borders to allege that journalist Jean-Leonard Rugambage’s murder was politically motivated.
“His killers were apprehended and confessed to the revenge killing related to the 1994 Genocide, and are currently on trial”.
“The Government of Rwanda remains committed to facilitating the emergence of a vibrant and responsible media and promoting professional journalism. We welcome partners in media development including media watchdogs to visit Rwanda to see for themselves the reality of the media environment and work with us on important part of our socioeconomic transformation,” said the minister.