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Rwanda: News website Ireme latest to be blocked

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By staff writer

newsdesk@greatlakesvoice.comntwali-john-williams_1_

KIGALI-RWANDA-A local critical news website which publishes in kinyarwandwa has become the latest to be blocked in Rwanda. The website cannot viewed in Rwanda but read outside the country and can be reached through proxy websites.

In correspondence which Great Lakes Voice has seen, John Williams Ntwali, the owner of www.ireme.net and www.ireme.org   pleaded to Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) for intervention and written to police CID for intervention.

Ireme.net was first hijacked from the C-panel; letter appeared to be hacked again, a move which pushed Ntwali to open ireme.org to continue publication. Now both websites have been blocked in the country.

Ireme.net becomes one of many critical websites that cannot be accessed in Rwanda apparently through interference with internet connections.

Internet customers in Rwanda who don’t use local service providers do not face the blockage faced by others. It is thus alleged that intelligence services have forced local internet providers including telecom companies to install filters that block website regarded as hostile or which should not be accessed by Rwandans.

The phenomenon emerged around 2010 when most of the critical newspapers were closed by government and their editors fled into exile and started publishing online. Soon after, a prominent case emerged when a local newspaper Umusingi interviewed the late Ex- Colonel Patrick Karegeya in South Africa. The print edition of the paper was confiscated and its website blocked from being accessed in Rwanda thereafter.

Most of the targeted sites are those run by the exiled opposition and their sympathizers. However even some that are pro-government and virulently attack the opposition and countries deemed hostile are blocked like newsofrwanda.com, this being affected around the time the website was active in damaging the Rwanda-Tanzania relations during the M23 war in Congo.

Rwandan government officials have always denied any knowledge of the people blocking the websites, asking journalists to provide proof.

This post has already been read 43457 times!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Johnston

    December 1, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    What about Freedom of speech in Rwanda? Will it ever be met one day?

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