No bail for the two jailed journalists of Rwandan newspaper UMURABYO
Kigali – The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court ruled Tuesday that UMURABYO editor Agnes Nkusi Uwimana and her journalist Saidath Mukakibibi spend the next 30 days in jail waiting for the start of their trial.
Court ruled that Uwimana and her co-accused were facing serious charges for which bail was not applicable. They are to be held at the maximum security jail ‘1930’ as investigations continue.
Prosecutors had on Monday detailed what they described as fourteen charges which they argued make the two journalists very dangerous for society.
Uwimana and Mukakibibi are accused of publishing content which is defamatory to President Kagame, incites public disorder, ethnic “divisionism” and genocide ideology.
Perhaps the most serious charge is where the two are accused of co-authoring an article in which they compared President Kagame to Nazi leader Adolph Hitler. Brandishing a copy of UMURABYO, prosecutors showed how the two journalists deliberately intended to portray a distorted image of the president.
Prosecution has been basing its case on data collected by the High Media Council from Issues no. 21, 23, 28 and 29 of the controversial tabloid.
In one of them, President Kagame is printed on a photo with a background of Nazi symbols – which prosecution claims portray him as “Hitler”.
Uwimana was taken into custody on Friday – July 9 and Mukakibibi was detained last week. The two deny all the charges, and instead immediately filed an appeal against provisional detention.