Prosecutor seeks 33 year term for journalist

January 6, 2011 12:00 am

, KIGALI, Jan 6 – A Rwandan prosecutor has asked for a 33-year prison sentence for the editor of a local independent newspaper who is accused of denying the 1994 genocide, state radio said Thursday.

Agnes Uwimana appeared Wednesday before the country\’s High Court on charges of negating the 1994 genocide, defaming senior officials including President Paul Kagame and disturbing the peace, all through articles published last year, Radio Rwanda reported.

Augustin Nkusi, the prosecutor\’s representative said Umurabyo, a monthly publication, negated the genocide by publishing articles saying that the Hutu and the Tutsi simply massacred one another.

The prosecutor also asked for a 12-year prison term for another Umurabyo journalist Saidath Mukakibibi.

The two women were arrested in July 2010 and have been in detention ever since.

The Media High Council, a state media regulatory body, had issued several warnings to Uwimana prior to her arrest.

She had already served a one-year term for inciting ethnic hatred and defamation and had resumed publishing her paper after completing her sentence in early 2008.

The High Court will deliver its verdict on February 4.


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