Amnesty International Challenge Rwandan Free Speech and Genocide Laws

Posted June 4th, 2011 at 1:10 am (UTC-5)
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Amnesty International is calling on Rwanda to ease restrictions on free speech.

The rights group says the months leading up to last year's presidential election were marked by a clampdown on freedom of expression.

Amnesty is calling on Rwanda to allow opposition politicians, journalists and human rights activists to express their views without fear for their safety.

Amnesty also wants Rwanda to revise laws on genocide ideology and divisionism, which the rights group says Rwanda uses to limit free speech.

The laws were put in place after Rwanda's 1994 genocide, when extremist Hutus killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Amnesty says the laws prohibit hate speech but are so broad they criminal other expression, including criticism of the government.