A YouTube channel owner and members of an opposition party are among those arrested.
Rwandan authorities have arrested six people including a journalist and members of an opposition party accused of publishing rumors supposed to spark an uprising, the investigation bureau said.
Theoneste Nsengimana, who runs Umubavu TV – an online Youtube channel that often broadcasts content critical of the government, is among those arrested, Rwanda Investigation Bureau spokesman Thierry Murangira said Thursday.
“They are accused of publishing rumors aimed at causing uprisings or unrest among the population,” he said.
“They have things in common, they form an organized group with the intention of spreading rumors aimed at causing an uprising or unrest among the population using different social media platforms.”
Nsengimana’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Tuesday, Nsengimana posted on his YouTube channel a video of a woman urging people to celebrate “Ingabire Day” on Thursday in honor of opposition figures who were jailed, kidnapped and killed.
Critics said Rwandan authorities cracked down on critical YouTube channels, including one belonging to former university professor Aimable Karasira, who was arrested in June and charged with denying the 1994 genocide. ‘charge.
Other people arrested include members and supporters of opposition leader Victoire Ingabire.
“DALFA-Umurinzi members arrested again: we ask RIB to enforce their rights. We have not yet been informed of the reasons for their arrest, ”Ingabire said on Twitter.
– Victoire Ingabire (@VictoireUmuhoza) October 14, 2021
“I take this as intimidation,” she told AFP news agency. “I don’t know what the rumors they are arrested for are about. “
Ingabire returned from exile in 2010 to run against current President Paul Kagame, but was arrested and jailed for eight years on terrorism charges, a sentence later extended to 15 years. She was released by presidential pardon in 2018.
Critics have accused Kagame’s government of human rights violations, despite having benefited from Western donor support to restore stability in the years following the genocide and spur economic growth.
In March, Human Rights Watch expressed alarm over Kigali’s crackdown on people using YouTube or blogs to speak out on controversial issues in Rwanda.
HRW then said that at least eight people reporting or commenting on the news – including the effect of strict anti-COVID measures that hit the poor hard – have been threatened, arrested or prosecuted in the past year.
Kagame has denied the abuse accusations.