Saturday, December 03, 2011

Rwanda: Editor of Rwandan newspaper killed in Kampala

Source: IFEX

(HRNJ-Uganda/IFEX) - Kampala, 2 December 2011 - Charles Ingabire, the editor of Rwandan newspaper "Inyenyeri", was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen on 30 November.

Ingabire, 32, a vocal critic of President Paul Kagame, was reportedly shot at Makies 2 Bar in Bukesa, a Kampala suburb along Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road. Currently, his body is at Mulago National Referral Hospital mortuary.

"Inyenyeri" is a vernacular online news magazine:

Sources revealed to Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that two people are in police custody at Old Kampala police station including Onzima David, a security guard, and Robinah Nabunnya, a waitress at Makies 2 Bar.

The sources added that the police have recovered five cartridges of sub machine gun bullets that are believed to have been used in the murder.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Ibin Senkumbi confirmed Ingabire's murder to HRNJ-Uganda. However, he said that the body was recovered on the morning of 1 December 2011 and it was unknown that the deceased was a journalist until today, 2 December, when relatives went to police to complain.

"The journalist walked into the bar with an unidentified friend just a few minutes after midnight and he was shot dead within the bar gardens. We have recovered his phone, which is helping us with the investigations. We are also using information from the two suspects to understand what exactly happened."

Police are still holding onto the body of the deceased, saying investigations are underway. The relatives went to Mulago to get the body on the morning of 2 December but they were denied access to it.

Ingabire is the second Rwandan editor to be shot dead by unknown gunmen in less than two years. Jean-Leonard Rugambage, the 34-year-old editor for privately-owned tabloid Umuvugizi, was killed in 2010 in Kigali.

"It's unfortunate that attacks aiming to silence critical voices are spreading beyond Rwanda and the gunmen continue to be unknown. There's a need for a special and independent body to investigate all murders that have claimed journalists' lives because of their work, otherwise we shall continue losing journalists and other people who are killed in cold blood," said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

HRNJ-Uganda extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased and the entire journalism profession in the region and beyond for the loss of such a brilliant professional.

HRNJ-Uganda calls upon the government of Uganda to consider inviting Interpol into the investigation for concern that Ugandan forces might fail to divulge the results of the findings to the public, as in previous investigations.