According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), at least 8 people in Rwanda commenting on current affairs on YouTube have been arrested and prosecuted over the past one year. 

HRW has called for release of “YouTube commentators and bloggers facing abusive prosecutions that violate freedom of expression.”

“Rwanda’s track record of intolerance and abusive reprisals against critics raises serious questions regarding the safety of a new generation of bloggers and commentators,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

YouTube is currently a contested space for free speech in Rwanda. The commentators and bloggers were discussing sensitive issues such as evictions from poor neighborhoods of the capital Kigali and the strict lock-downs imposed and shutdown of schools from March to November 2020 in response to Covid-19.

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