Journalists to honour fallen colleagues

Rwandan journalists will, on Sunday, pay tribute to their colleagues who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.About 50 men and women from the media were killed between April and July 1994, according to the Media High Council (MHC).
MHC chief Patrice Mulama
MHC chief Patrice Mulama

Rwandan journalists will, on Sunday, pay tribute to their colleagues who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.

About 50 men and women from the media were killed between April and July 1994, according to the Media High Council (MHC).

Journalists are expected to meet at the MHC from where they will travel to Ntarama Memorial Site in Bugesera District before returning to the Council’s offices for a night vigil.

“We have been preparing for this event for some time. We started by establishing the actual number of journalists who were killed in the Genocide, then identifying their families so that we can help them,” said the Executive Secretary of MHC, Patrice Mulama.

He however hastened to add that they, as MHC, cannot do this alone, calling for the active involvement of practitioners and other media organs to make the event a success.

A provisional list of journalists who died in the Genocide will be unveiled on vigil night where a memorial stone bearing the names of all deceased scribes will be launched.

“We will hold talks on the role of the media in inciting mass murder. We have invited a prosecutor from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) who will make a presentation on the five journalists who have been sentenced by the tribunal,” Mulama said.

The ICTR Prosecutor is expected to highlight the circumstances upon which the court based, to charge the journalists.

One of the journalists convicted by the Tanzania-based tribunal is Hassan Ngeze, a former editor of Kangura newspaper who is known for his infamous ‘Hutu Ten Commandments.’Ngeze is currently serving a 35-year sentence in Mali.

Meanwhile, Mulama said that during the vigil, there will be a comparative analysis on the performance of the media before and during the Genocide in comparison to the current situation.

Experts are also expected to discuss the role played by the media in promoting reconciliation.

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