9 April 2014

Rwanda: Radio Station Manager Missing Since Genocide Anniversary Event

press release

Reporters Without Borders is worried by the disappearance of Cassien Ntamuhanga, the manager of the Kigali-based Christian radio station Amazing Grace, since the evening of 7 April.

Ntamuhanga's last contact with his family was at around 7p.m. on 7 April, when he was leaving Amahoro Stadium after a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Tutsi genocide. He telephoned his younger brother to say he would meet him in the city.

There has been no news of him since then and his phone rings without anyone answering.

On the night of 7 April, Amazing Grace's security guards saw an individual suddenly park Ntamuhanga's car outside the radio station and then quickly leave on a motorcycle that was awaiting him. The police were notified of his disappearance the same night and they say investigations are underway.

"We are very disturbed by Ntamuhanga's unexplained disappearance," said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. "All the more since there have been unfortunate recent precedents under President Kagame's regime. Journalists and government opponents have mysteriously disappeared and later their bodies and cars have been found.

Kahn-Sriber added: "The fact that his car was brought back and left outside the radio station suggest that Ntamuhanga may still be alive and is being detained. We urge the police to search harder for him, and we call on the government to do everything possible to help to find him safe and sound as quickly as possibly."

Sources told Reporters Without Borders that intelligence officials questioned Ntamuhanga several times in the past few weeks, seeking information about a fellow journalist who fled Rwanda in 2013 and continues to be an active participant in an opposition online radio station.

Rwanda is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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