Category: Press Releases, Africa, Rwanda
By: Naomi Hunt, Press Freedom Adviser for Africa

IPI Calls for Full Investigation into Rwandan Journalist’s Murder

Inyenyeri Editor Charles Ingabire Killed in Uganda

Rwandan President Paul Kagame speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By: Naomi Hunt, Press Freedom Adviser for Africa

VIENNA, 5 Dec. 2011 – The International Press Institute (IPI) has called for a full investigation into the murder of Charles Ingabire last week, which other Rwandan exiles have said was linked to the victim’s journalistic work, reports say. 

Ingabire, 32, was the editor of Inyenyeri News, an online opposition news site, news reports say. 

Ugandan police told the Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda that Ingabire had been killed shortly after midnight on 1 December while having drinks with a friend at Makies 2 bar in Kampala, the group reported. 

Police are investigating the victim’s cell phone and are questioning staff from the bar, where Ingabire was reportedly a frequent customer. 

Ingabire began writing for Umuvugizi website, which is also known for its opposition to the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, after leaving Rwanda in 2007, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported. In June 2010, the site’s deputy editor Jean Leonard Rugambage was killed in Kigali. 

A funeral service held on Saturday was attended by other Rwandan exiles who did not want to give their names, and one Rwandan pastor who led the service warned of “spies” in the crowd’s midst, the Daily Monitor of Uganda reported.

The Rwandan government has denied any involvement in the murder, and said that Ingabire was not a well-known critic, AFP reported. Instead, a spokesperson told the agency that Ingabire had been convicted of embezzlement and escaped from prison in 2006. 

But Ingabire’s former colleagues said that he had left Rwanda because of political persecution, and believe he was killed because of his criticism of the government, reports say.

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