Rwanda: the investigation for Ntwali’s death denounced by Reporters Without Borders

image credits: The Nigerian voice

John Williams Ntwali, a famous Rwandan journalist who was not afraid of criticizing Paul Kagame’s government (and who may have paid the highest price for that), was killed in a motorbike accident on January 18 next to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. At the time, an investigation had been requested by Reporters Without Borders and a bunch of other human rights organizations. All these non-governmental organizations were wishing to make the truth come out on this case. Real accident or disguised murder?

As a matter of fact, the casualty used to be a fierce opponent of Paul Kagame’s regime in a country that is ranking 136 out of 180 on freedom of press despite its fast development. Ntwali was criticizing the government for the lack of individual liberties in Rwanda, and was allowing others to do so thanks to his YouTube channel Pax TV. His bravery compelled him to spend a lot of time behind bars, sometimes a couple of hours, sometimes a couple of weeks.

Involved in an accident that took his life last month, the journalist surely paid the price for his words. This is what Reporters Without Borders clearly insinuated, and the results of the investigation are going to make matters worse: the car driver who was responsible for the accident was condemned to pay a fine of one million Rwandan francs, which stands for 914 US dollars…

Reporters Without Borders is talking about an investigation that turned out to be a “high-speed trial”and is using the term “homicide” to qualify that tragic event. The circumstances of John Ntwali’s death, who was a simple passenger on the motorbike that was hit by a car at 2.50 in the morning, remain “suspicious”, and the NGO also claims that the investigation was never made public while investigators only considered the assumption of the accident without ever thinking about a possible murder.

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