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CPJ: CPJ joins call for Commonwealth leaders to urge Rwanda to respect human rights

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On June 10, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined 23 other civil society organizations in a letter expressing “grave concerns” about the human rights situation in Rwanda ahead of the June 20 start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where leaders of Commonwealth nations will meet in the country.

The organizations note that there have been “relentless harassment, attacks, and threats” against civil society groups and the media in Rwanda, and call on Commonwealth leaders to urge Rwandan authorities to take concrete measures to respect human rights, including by releasing detained journalists and creating an “enabling environment for activists, bloggers and journalists to freely express their views.”

The letter also says the Rwandan media should be allowed to freely cover the CHOGM, and to raise human rights concerns without reprisal.

CPJ’s most recent prison census, a snapshot of journalists detained as of December 1, 2021, showed that Rwanda was one of the worst jailers of journalists in Africa, with at least seven behind bars.

The full letter can be read in English and in French.

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