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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 13:54 GMT
Media crackdown in Rwanda
By Robert Walker
BBC, Kigali

The editor and senior journalists from the independent newspaper, Umuseso, have been taken into custody following the publication of articles critical of the government.

A Police spokesman Superintendent Damas Gatare told the BBC that items in this week's edition of Umuseso contravened the Press Law and copies of the newspaper have been confiscated.

Editor Robert Sebufirira was taken into police custody at the Rwandan border on Wednesday as he was returning with copies of the latest edition of the paper which is printed in Uganda.

Government critics say the absence of a vibrant press is a sign that the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front is failing to open up despite recent presidential and parliamentary elections.

The article which is thought to have prompted the arrests raises questions about what is said to be the planned demobilisation of a senior army officer, Major General Kayumba Nyamwasa.

Umuseso's readers in Kigali have been left wondering at the absence of this week's paper from the streets.

There are tight controls on the press and so far no private electronic media is allowed in Rwanda.

Profile: Rwanda's strongman
27 Aug 03  |  Africa

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