27 July 2011

Rwanda: Private Newspapers Forum Suspends Ishema

A local publication Ishema was yesterday suspended for six months by the Forum for Private Newspapers (FPN), after it published an article that ridiculed the person of the President and undermined the government.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Theodore Ntarindwa, president of the forum said that the paper was suspended following the owner's apology over the publication of the slandering article.

"We would have taken a tougher decision on his paper but when he apologised to the forum admitting that the piece was blasphemous, we decided to suspend his paper for a period of six-months," he said.

Ntarindwa added that the article was lifted from another newspaper without attributing it to the source which is against media regulations.

Fidele Gakire, the proprietor of Ishema newspaper acknowledged his mistake.

"I am going to apologise to the President and the nation in writing as what my paper published was so offensive," he noted.

Gakire, who blamed his editorial team for failure to assess the article's consequences before it was published, added that the punishment could have been more lenient.

"The penalty is too heavy for me to bear but I hope after completing the punishment, as a member of the forum, we shall find ways to reduce such penalties," he said.

Copyright © 2011 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.