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Rights teams urge probe into dying of Rwandan journalist

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Dozens of rights and media teams urged Rwanda on Tuesday (Jan. 31) to conduct an impartial and neutral probe into the dying they see as “suspicious” of a prime journalist who was important of the federal government.

John Williams Ntwali, 44, editor of The Chronicles newspaper, was killed on January 18 when a dashing car rammed a motorbike on which he was driving pillion.

Ntwali, who had been arrested a number of instances throughout his two-decade lengthy profession as a journalist, owned the Pax TV channel on YouTube, which had established itself as a uncommon outlet for important reporting in Rwanda.

“Rwandan authorities ought to permit an impartial, neutral and efficient investigation, drawing on worldwide experience,” the 90 civil society organisations and media associations stated a joint assertion.

The teams regretted that “two weeks after the alleged accident, Rwandan authorities [had] failed to supply a police report, the precise location of the alleged accident, any picture or video proof, or detailed info on the others concerned.”

Requested in regards to the investigation, Rwandan police spokesman John Bosco Kabera advised AFP: “Ntwali’s accident case file was transmitted to the prosecution. We are able to not touch upon it.”

The motive force stated to be concerned within the incident that killed Ntwali is in custody.

Press freedom is commonly critcized in Rwanda the place journalists important of President Paul Kagame and his ruling get together have been jailed, have disappeared or turned up lifeless all through his almost 30 years in energy.

The japanese African nation ranks 136th out of 180 nations on the Reporters With out Borders (RSF) press freedom index.


Earlier this month, authorities spokeswoman Yolande Makolo famous that eight Rwandans had died in motorcycle taxi accidents this month alone.

“Groundless insinuations do not assist. Let the accident investigators do their work,” she stated on Twitter.

The assertion, which was issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated Ntwali had been commonly threatened and attacked in pro-government media for his investigative reporting.

He was considered one of only some journalists in Rwanda independently overlaying excessive profile, politicised trials of journalists, commentators and opposition members, and posting movies about their situations in jail, it stated.

“Rwanda’s worldwide companions ought to press the authorities to permit and cooperate absolutely with such an investigation,” stated HRW.

The media rights group stated: “Overwhelmed down by many years of oppression, the Rwandan media panorama is without doubt one of the poorest in Africa.”