If Rwanda is developing fast and experimenting a more than interesting economic growth, it is still an issue to tell what you really think in this country, particularly if you do not have a good feeling about the government of Paul Kagame. President since 2000, Kagame is praised for its economic policy and criticized for his repression of the freedom of expression at the same time, and what happened lately is not going to make things easier.
A famous journalist, notorious for regularly criticizing Paul Kagame’s government and the lack of freedoms in the country, was killed in a motorbike accident four days ago in Kimihurura, not so far from Kigali, the Rwandan capital city. The 44-year-old man, called John Williams Ntwali, was the passenger of the motorbike which was hit by a car on January 18 at 2.50 am. The driver was put under arrest, but the Non-Governmental Organization HRW (Human Rights Watch) is talking about suspicious conditions.
The one who was chief editor of the newspaper The Chronicles was regularly setting up reports about the political repression enforced by Kagame’s government in Rwanda. Lewis Mudge, Central Africa manager for HWR, called for a quick investigation based on international expertise in order to clarify the situation and determine whether or not the journalist was murdered.
In Rwanda, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press are narrowly watched over by the government, who has been ruling the country for more than twenty years now and the end of the genocide that made about 800 000 casualties in the end of the nineties. According to Reporters Without Borders, Rwanda is ranking 136 out of 180 countries for the freedom of the press. The NGO is also claiming that 8 professionals have been killed or disappeared in Rwanda since 1996, while 35 had to leave the country and went into exile.