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By Robert Mugabe
KIGALI-RWANDA-The Chronicles political journalist, Idriss Gasana Byiringiro has been arrested and detained at Kicukiro police post in Kigali City allegedly accused of giving Police false information. Byiringiro was detained yesterday evening, Tuesday 17, 2012 upon invitation from the CID to help them with the investigations.
The arrest follows four weeks of alleged intimidation, harassment and illegal interrogation of the journalist by individuals who claimed to work for the intelligence services.
DR Christopher Kayumba, the Managing consultant, told Great Lakes Voice that process begun on June 15 when four individuals who claimed to work for the security services forced him into a land Cruiser vehicle at around 3pm, confiscated all his belongings, including the phone and laptop and drove him to Nyamata where he was allegedly interrogated. He was released the following day, Saturday June 16, 2012
“Those four men, interrogated Byiringiro for the whole night, asking him where does Chronicles get money to cover the budget, whether do he write the articles that come with his by-lines, or somebody writes the articles and just place his by-line? Who tips him with relevant information,” Kayumba added
“Byiringiro is a political reporter; he reported about Rukarara, Parliament and DRC, he’s a good reporter. What’s I don’t understand, IGP Gasana told me on the phone that my reporter has been arrested and detained for feeding the police with false information.”
The Chronicles wrote a complaint letter to concerned authorities informing them of the incident. They promised to investigate. Even after lodging the complaint on June 19, the said individuals continued to send intimidating short messages (sms) and even wrote an unsigned letter containing threats. The letter and the sms were also forwarded to concerned security officials investigating the matter.
On Monday, July 16, 2012, The Chronicles Managing Consultant, Dr Christopher Kayumba met the Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana, Kalisa, the Director of police intelligence and the CID director Christopher Bizuimungu police over the matter. After discussions, they again promised to investigate and get to the bottom of the matter.
On the evening of the same day, the Director of CID called and requested the Managing Consultant to allow Idriss Byiringiro, report to him the following day to help them with the investigations. When the journalist appeared, he was instead detained on suspicion of lying about intimidations and the illegal interrogation visited on him.
Kayumba, also told Great lakes Voice that when The Chronicles journalists and some family members visited the journalist this morning, July 18, they were denied access to him.