Intimidated for exposing the dark secrets of an African regime out of control, Canadian journalist Judi Rever drew the line at having the life of her own children threatened.
Night was falling when Judi Rever got to her hotel in downtown Brussels in July 2014. In the dimming light, the Canadian journalist was able to make out two Mercedes—both black, one clearly armored—parked so close to the entrance that she pictured some celebrity holding court at the Novotel, and cursed her luck.
But the lobby was clear and there was no line at the reception. The reporter gave her name, handed her passport, and watched the receptionist rise slowly to his feet. “Welcome to the Novotel,” he said, “We’ve been waiting for you.”
Next, Rever saw a man in a dark blue suit approach. Laying a faintly cologned hand on her shoulder, he whispered: “Judi Rever?” Stunned, the journalist nodded. “My name is Denis Ledure. I am the head of the Close Protection Services,” a branch of the Belgian Secret Service “I am here because we have reason to believe that the Rwandan Embassy in Brussels constitutes a threat to your security.”
What followed was the confirmation of every scrap of journalism Rever ever put together on Rwanda, a speck of a country associated with brave recovery from genocide but, to the reporter’s expert reckoning, the single most sinister military dictatorship in Africa instead.