2 June 2010

Rwanda: Media High Council Summons Editor

Kigali — Agnes Uwimana, the publisher and editorial director of Umurabyo, a Kinyarwanda bi-weekly was summoned by the Media High Council (MHC).

She was warned that her paper faces unspecified sanctions if she continued publishing "defamatory articles and falsehoods that violate the professional ethics of journalism".

The MHC board chairman, Arthur Asiimwe, said the body had carefully scrutinized a series of reports by the Umurabyo bi-weekly and had decided to summon its editor.

"After assessing the explanations given by the management of Umurabyo, the MHC finds the newspaper guilty of publishing falsehoods," Asiimwe said.

He added: "Fortunately, we had positive talks with Uwimana where she apologized and accepted her mistakes and is willing to report professionally and respect the valid editorial line that Umurabyo is bound to follow."

The tabloid is also accused of promoting the double genocide ideology by stating in one of its editions that "all Rwandans slaughtered each other during the (1994) genocide."

"These false allegations are meant to cause worry and panic amongst the public. Umurabyo has been given the last warning. If they report unprofessionally again, we won't be left with any other option but to punish them," Asiimwe added.

But Uwimana said she had conceded to the fact that Umurabyo was not respecting its editorial line and that she was willing to respect ethical standards.

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