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PRESS STATEMENT Issued on 28th September...

Published on: 30-09-2018

Issued on 28th September 2018
Rwanda has officially decriminalised general defamation and press offences with the gazetting of the penal code - Law No. 68/2018 of 30/08/2018 on 27 September 2018. The Rwanda Journalists Association (ARJ) recognises this very important step by the government of Rwanda as it is another major reform in expanding freedom of the press and free expression in general.
Decriminalisation of defamation and press offences is a culmination of many years of advocacy by the media fraternity and dialogue with government and other stakeholders. While the ARJ considers defamation a major ethical breach - the reason it is proscribed by the Journalists and Media Practitioners Code of Conduct - we uphold that related complaints should be handled by the Media Self-Regulatory Body (Rwanda Media Commission) and in other cases by civil restitution.
We therefore call on the public to continue utilizing the so far successful media self-regulation in arbitrating concerns arising from journalists’ work.
However, the ARJ is concerned with Articles 233 and 236 in the penal code relating to cartooning of politicians/public officials and defamation against the President of the Republic respectively. The Association will going forward carry out consultations and seek legal interpretations on if and how the two articles could affect press freedom and advice members accordingly.
For further comment contact; Muganwa Gonzaga, ARJ Executive Secretary, Tel +250788586225, +250787446999 Email:,

Document type:PDF
Document size:255.2 kb
Published date: 30-09-2018 / 04:13
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