Rwanda: Swedish lawmakers complain over suspended newspapers
Kigali: Visiting Swedish parliamentarians have urged government to review the suspension this week of two tabloid newspapers, saying it could undermine the country’s democratic credentials, RNA reports.
At a meeting Thursday with Lower Chamber of Deputies Speaker Ms. Rose Mukantabana and other lawmakers including Senator Dr. Joseph Karemera, the ten Swedish MPs said they consider the suspensions problematic.
On Wednesday, the High Council of the Media (HCM) ruled that weekly UMUSESO and UMUVUGIZI had since January published content which was insulting to the Head of State, inciting to the armed forces into insubordination and a threat to state security as they caused panic in the population.
Swedish Moderate Party lawmaker Christian Holm said it was paramount that as the country prepares for elections, divergent views are allowed free passage. On the delegation includes Linda Nordin Gabelic from UN Association of Sweden.
However, Speaker Ms. Rose Mukantabana came to the defense of the suspension saying the papers had defied various warnings to review their content. She said the two publications have the option to petition the courts for redress.
Speaking for the Rwandan side, Senator Karemera also demanded why European countries continue to drag their feet on Genocide suspects living in their countries.
Linda Nordin Gabelic responded that the issue of suspects was being handled by the UN, adding that Europe does not want the fugitives to live there.
The two sides also discussed the Rwandan FDLR rebels in eastern DRC. The Swedish delegation had also just returned touring receptions camps for the rebels in Northern Rwanda.
Sweden is among the countries which are financing the repatriation program.