13 March 2017

Rwanda Genocide Blogger Goes On Trial

Photo: Twitter
Joseph Nkusi.

Kigali — One of the most controversial figures in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 is slated to go on trial Monday in the wake of fears of an unfair hearing.

Joseph Nkusi, a Rwandan blogger who has sharply criticized Rwanda's government, made false and inflammatory claims about the genocide, and founded a radical opposition group while exiled in Norway will be probed.

He faces a trial in Kigali on charges of genocide ideology, sectarianism and inciting insurrection in the genocide that claimed around 1 million minority Tutsi. Nkusi lived in Norway between 2009 and 2016.

Norwegian authorities rejected his asylum claim, citing a lack of evidence of a risk of persecution in Rwanda. Nkusi was then deported, arriving back in Kigali last October. Rwandan authorities immediately arrested him for his writings and political activities.

He has been held at Kimironko prison. Human Rights Watch said while Nkusi's writings were somewhat reprehensible, authorities must ensure a fair trial and he was not prosecuted nor convicted for criticism of government or the ruling party.

"International actors, including Norway, should closely monitor the trial proceedings and be prepared to publicly denounce any breaches of fair trial standards or violation of free speech," Ida Sawyer, director for Central Africa said. - CAJ News

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