Agnès Uwimana Nkusi

Agnès Uwimana Nkusi is a Rwandan journalist of extraordinary courage. The editor of the privately-owned bimonthly Umurabyo, she was first arrested in 2007 and sentenced to two years in prison on charges of inciting civil disobedience, promoting division and genocide denial. After serving her sentence, she went back to work without submitting to the regime or heeding the High Media Council’s warnings. Barely a year later, she was back in court again just for doing her job to report the news. Convicted of defamation, this time she got a 17-year jail sentence –extremely harsh but not as extreme as the 33-year sentence sought by the prosecutor. With her health declining fast, the supreme court cut her sentence to four years in April 2012, a falsely generous reduction that falls far short of her release and the quashing of her conviction, which press freedom groups are demanding.

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