Google LLC , be careful not to fall for the lies of the Rwandan government

Rwanda is currently going through a very complex political situation. Twenty-seven years ago, a nameless genocide and other unspeakable massacres took place and shed blood of thousands of lives of the Rwandan population. In the aftermath of the genocide, a new political power was established, dominated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front-RPF, which promised to establish a democratic system of governance in the country. However, this promise remained unfulfilled. Since the adoption of the new constitution in the 2003 referendum, which guarantees the respect and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, political pluralism and freedom of press, RPF has rushed to barricade all avenues that ensure democratic and transparent functioning of the state, reinforcing therefore, absolute control of civil society, press censorship, deeply weakening the State check and balance system, and above all, muzzling the freedom of Rwandans to exercise their free expression on the affairs of the State and the country in general. Terror has become a means for the RPF to govern the country. Tailor-made laws have been put in place, including the famous law on the punishment and prevention of the crime of genocide ideology. Various international organizations, including HRW, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and the UN Human Rights Council, have repeatedly stated that this law is unconstitutional and even undemocratic. However, the Rwandan government continues to use this law to stifle all voices calling for transparency in dealing with the consequences of the 1994 genocide. Today, journalists, politicians, academicians, civil society activists, clerics and many ordinary citizens are detained and convicted, even killed, simply because they dared to challenge the government’s discourse on the genocide. Rwanda is regularly cited as a major predator of press freedom. The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances recently pointed out that arbitrary arrests leading to enforced disappearances have become commonplace in Rwanda. The US has also reported that Rwanda uses international judicial cooperation system to abuse political opponents and civil society actors who oppose its political governance system. Recently, the spokesperson of Rwanda Bureau of Investigation-RIB revealed on state television that Rwandan government is in discussion with Google Group about the rise of racial hatred and denial of genocide committed against Tutsi as it would be conveyed by some Youtube channels managed by “pseudo genocide deniers”. On this point, Google group should know that among what the Rwandan government calls “genocide ideology”, some people find that it can be citizens’ declarations calling on the government to reconsider its dictatorial and abusive practices. The Rwandan minister in charge of dealing with problems linked with 1994 genocide has even stated that criticizing RPF is tantamount to a crime of genocide minimization. In this light, the regime is afraid because Rwandan citizens are using opportunities offered by social media networks to remind government that it should be accountable to the people. Government’s concern stems of course from bad faith. If the Kigali authorities are sincere about eradicating the hatred echoing on social media platforms, they must first lead by example. Media outlets loyal to the state do not hesitate to spread hatred without legal consequences. 250TV operating on youtube has openly called for the assassination of the political opponent Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and regularly publishes information inciting dehumanization of people who criticize the government. Rushyashya TV and Igihe TV, also having YouTube accounts behave the same. High authorities of the country among others, Dr Tite Rutaremara, Antoine Mugesera, Dr Richard Sezibera, as well as propagandists Tom Ndahiro, Ingabire Marie Immaculée, Gatete Ruhumuliza, Albert Rudatsimburwa and Mukagasana Yolanda denigrate the Hutu ethnic group via Twitter accounts and radiobroadcasts under the allegation that Hutu mothers breastfeed their children with genocide ideology. The same personalities do not tolerate those who raise their voices against the abuses of the RPF regime, calling them propagators of genocide. As follows, Google Group is invited to be lucid and to conduct a perfectly objective study before taking the risk of falling into the trap of the Rwandan government’s lies.

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