Rwanda:The journalist Niyonsenga Dieudonné released from jail

Dieudonné Niyonsenga a.k.a Cyuma Dieudonné

By Arnold Gakuba

The journalist Niyonsenga Dieudonné says that he is “proud” of being released from Kigali’s Mageragere Detention Centre last night after 11 months and he was declared innocent. For him, they would just want to make him suffer. 

In the interview with BBC, Mr Niyonsenga aged of 31 years old, nicknamed Cyuma Hassan, said: 

They did it intentionally to jail me and make me suffer. But to me, nothing can change at all on the way I pursue my career. I have to do the profession I learnt, not the way [someone] wants it. I will continue to serve the community,” he said. 

He added that he is going to first rest a bit and go for a medical check-up then after continues his work.

Prior to his arrest on 15 April 2020 by the Police and detained, he was in charge of emissions on ISHEMA TV on YouTube, addressing the most rarely mentioned issues facing the public.

Niyonsenga – who was represented by lawyer Gatera Gashabana – said that the judge acquitted him of all his charges including pronouncing shameful words towards the high authorities of the Country and hurting public officials, deliberately beating and injured and the obstruction of the implementation of mandated duties.

Rwanda has carried out various activities aiming at promoting the profession of journalism, such as putting in place the Journalists Training Institute, establishing professional rules and regulations for journalists to disseminate information. However, the freedom of expression is still a concern among journalists even if the government declares not to interfere with that freedom.

In January, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye declared to the UN General Assembly, known as the ‘Universal Periodic Review’ (UPR), that in Rwanda, the freedom of speech is among the most observed human rights.  

Niyonsenga called upon the security services to “release journalists.” “Not all journalists can work in the same vein of appreciation,” he said.