Rwanda: Newspaper editor skips media council summon, given last chance
Kigali: A troubled female publisher of the Kinyarwanda tabloid UMURABYO Agnes Uwimana on Friday refused to attend a scheduled hearing of her case by the Media High Council which has threatened to close the paper.
The media council summoned her Friday to renew the demand that she apologises to the country and all those she has allegedly offended in her part.
The Council had ruled on May 27, after summoning Uwimana that she makes corrections to several stories which negate the Tutsi Genocide, undermine government programs and threaten national security.
The content in Issues 21 and 23 reportedly defame President Kagame and several other government officials. In Issue 21, the paper describes the President as somebody who does not listen to any advice from anybody, according to Council documents.
The paper is also accused of running content which promotes the double Genocide theory. The Media Council says in Issue 23, UMURABYO apparently writes that: “All Rwandans slaughtered each other during the Genocide.”
Though Uwimana did not attend the Friday media council summon, she admitted to journalists in attendance after the May summon that her paper had serious errors which would be corrected. But more copies have been published every Monday, and there have been no retractions.
The Council said Friday that the paper has a last chance to publish the apologies or the law will take its course – including a lengthy suspension. The paper also faces possible complete ban from the streets, says the council.
Uwimana was jailed about two years ago and the paper suspended for articles in the same paper deemed to have been promoting ethnic divisionism.
It returned to the streets early this year, but rose to fame with the ongoing suspension of the two controversial tabloids UMUSESO and UMUVUGIZI.