Posts Tagged ‘Kayumba Nyamwasa’

Rwanda: Herausgeber einer oppostionellen Tageszeitung ermordet

Dienstag, Juni 29th, 2010

RWANDA: Newspaper editor murdered

RWANDA - Jean-Léonard Rugambage (Jeanne Umwana)The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN (WiPC) protests in the strongest possible terms the murder of Jean Leonard Rugambage, deputy editor of the banned newspaper Umuvugizi, who was shot dead outside his home on 24 June 2010. Rugambage had reportedly been followed and threatened prior to his death and it is believed that he was targeted for an article he had published that day alleging government involvement in the attempted assassination of a exiled former Rwandan army commander. The WiPC calls on the Rwandan authorities to carry out an independent investigation of Rugambage’s murder as a matter of urgency and to bring those responsible to justice, as well as to guarantee journalists’ safety in the run-up to the August 2010 presidential elections.

The following is an Urgent Action appeal issued by Amnesty International on 25 June 2010. Please send appeal letters following the guidelines provided by Amnesty below:



UA: 143/10 Index: AFR 47/004/2010 Rwanda Date: 25 June 2010

Rwandan journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage was killed on 24 June. Authorities must establish an independent commission of enquiry into the killing and ensure other journalists can work in safety.

Jean Leonard Rugambage, the Deputy Editor of Rwandan newspaper, Umuvugizi, was shot dead outside his home in the Rwandan capital, Kigali on 24 June 2010. Jean Leonard Rugambage is the first Rwandan journalist murdered in recent years.

Jean Leonard Rugambage returned home around 10pm on 24 June 2010. He was shot dead as he reached the gate of his home in the Kigali suburb, Nyamirambo. His exiled Managing Editor-in-Chief, Jean-Bosco Gasasira, has stated that witnesses who heard the gunshots saw the unknown assailant drive away in a car. Police arrived at the scene soon afterwards, but Jean Leonard Rugambage was already dead.

The Rwanda Police have confirmed that Jean Leonard Rugambage body remained at Kigali’s Police Hospital and would not be released for burial until a later date. Police investigations have been opened.

Jean Leonard Rugambage had been investigating the shooting of the exiled former Chief-of-Staff of the Rwandan Army, Kayumba Nyamwasa, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 19 June 2010. Umuvugizi had published an on-line article on 24 June 2010, the day of Jean Leonard Rugambage’s murder, alleging that Rwandan intelligence officials were linked to the shooting. In the days before his murder, Jean Leonard Rugambage had told colleagues that he felt that the surveillance on him had intensified.

Jean Leonard Rugambage’s newspaper, Umuvugizi, was suspended in April 2010 until after Rwanda’s presidential elections scheduled for August 2010. The Rwandan High Media Council, a regulatory body aligned with the government, suspended Umuvugizi for six months alleging they had incited opposition to the government and divided the army. Umuseso, another private newspaper, was also banned for six months. The High Media Council later started court proceedings to initiate a permanent ban against both papers. After the suspension, Umuvugizi continued to publish on their website, launched in May, though their website was not accessible from within Rwanda.

Jean-Leonard Rugambage became the Acting Editor of Umuvugizi after the Managing Editor, Jean-Bosco Gasasira, fled Rwanda in April 2010 after threats following Umuvugizi’s suspension. Jean-Bosco Gasasira had been brutally assaulted in February 2007 by unidentified men with iron bars. Prior to the attack, Jean-Bosco Gasasira, had also published several articles critical of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the ruling political party.

Over recent years, Rwandan journalists working for non-state media have frequently been threatened and physically assaulted. Criminal sanctions have also been used against them to stifle freedom of expression. There have been no known cases of Rwandan journalists murdered in Rwanda in recent years, but several journalists have fled Rwanda for their safety.

Such an attack comes, as the space for independent reporting fast diminishes before Rwanda’s August 2010 presidential elections. Amnesty International has called on the Rwandan authorities to respect the rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression and to ensure that journalists can work freely, independently and with protection from state authorities.

UA: 143/10 Index: AFR 47/004/2010 Issue Date: 25 June 2010



Useful links

• Report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) (25 June 2010):
• Report by Reporters Without Borders (25 June 2010):,37812.html;,37811.html (French)
• Report by BBC (28 June 2010):

Take Action

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, French or your own language:

• Urging the Rwandan authorities to ensure that any autopsy of the body of Jean Leonard Rugambage is undertaken by independent medical experts;
• Calling on them to establish an independent commission of enquiry into the killing of Jean Leonard Rugambage;
• Demanding that they ensure that the perpetrators are brought to trial promptly and in accordance with international fair trial standards;
• Urging them to make public assurances that all Rwandan journalists can work freely, independently and with full protection from state authorities.


Paul Kagame
Office of the President
BP 15
Urugwiro Village
Fax: +250 572431
Salutation: Dear President Kagame

Police commissioner
Emmanuel Gasana
Commissioner General
Rwandan National Police
Fax: +250 58 66 02
Salutation: Dear Commissioner General

Prosecutor General
Martin Ngoga
National Public Prosecution Autnority
BP 1328
Fax: +250 589 501
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor General

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with the WiPC if sending appeals after the above date.

For further details please contact Tamsin Mitchell at the Writers in Prison Committee London Office: International PEN, Brownlow House, 50-51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER Tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 207 405 0339 email:

(Quelle: International Pen.)

Rwanda: Mutmasslicher Kriegsverbrecher erhält Asyl in der Republik Südafrika

Freitag, Juni 25th, 2010

“South Africa: ‘War Crimes Suspect’ Has Asylum in SA

By Wilson Johwa

Johannesburg — THE former Rwandan general and suspected war criminal who survived an apparent assassination attempt in Johannesburg last week is a recognised refugee in SA, a status that critics say risks compromising the country’s asylum system.

The Department of Home Affairs’ deputy director-general responsible for immigration, Jackson McKay, said yesterday that Lt-Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa had successfully applied for residency in SA. The law prohibits the granting of residency status to human rights violators.

‘He applied for asylum in SA, his asylum was adjudicated and was granted,’ Mr McKay said.

Among those concerned with case was the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in SA advocacy body. ‘There are very clear indications that this particular general had been connected with war crimes and crimes against peace,’ said its chairperson, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh.

Lt-Gen Nyamwasa was shot and injured on Saturday as he drove home to Melrose Arch from a shopping trip with his wife.

Questions over his status arose amid allegations that he could be a war criminal.

The Rwandan army’s former chief could present the government with a dilemma over whether to send him back to Rwanda or hand him to France and Spain should they seek his extradition to face prosecution for international crimes. SA does not have an extradition treaty with Rwanda.

The two countries have issued arrest warrants against Mr Nyamwasa for his alleged role in killings during the 1994 genocide, along with other senior figures in the Rwandan Patriotic Front led by President Paul Kagame.

Legal sources said the difficulty for SA was that it could not send Lt-Gen Nyamwasa back to Rwanda, because to do so would expose him to political persecution, and would offend SA ‘s international law obligations.

‘But individuals suspected of committing grave human rights violations are disqualified from refugee status under South African and international law, so in granting asylum SA again risks violating its legal obligations,’ said a human rights lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since Lt-Gen Nyamwasa had been indicted by Spanish and French courts, SA would be obliged to hand him over.

Earlier this week the Department of Justice confirmed the Rwandan government had made an extradition request, along with a former colonel in the Rwandan army, Patrick Karegeya.

Spokesman Tlali Tlali said the ministry was consulting the law to assess whether SA could extradite a person with asylum. Four men are in court on Tuesday for the attempted murder of Lt-Gen Nyamwasa. Charges against two others were dropped.”