News Brief
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KIGALI, RWANDA - APRIL 07: People hold candles during a commemoration ceremony of the 1994 genocide on April 07, 2019 at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.

Former Rwandan University Lecturer Arrested For Alleged Genocide Denial

Rwandan YouTuber Aimable Karasira is facing ten years in jail following his recent conspiracy theories that question the legitimacy of the Rwandan genocide.

Rwandan authorities have reportedly arrested 44-year-old Aimable Karasira on charges of denying one of the greatest and most horrifying genocides in the world. Karasira allegedly broadcasted conspiracy theories prompting over 62 000 of his subscribers and the public into a controversial debate about the truthfulness of the 1994 genocide. The Rwandan Investigative Bureau (RIB) stated that Karasira had been sharing divisive remarks about the genocide for a few days before his arrest.


The video that caught the RIB's attention was reportedly posted on May 20 wherein Karasira questions certain events of the 1994 genocide. Additionally, he allegedly accused the ruling party Rwandan Patriotic Front of "fuelling hate". His remarks have admittedly caused tensions for Tutsi survivors, including President Paul Kagame. Karasira's accusations seem to oppose Kagame's call for the Rwandan nation to sow forgiveness between each other, a pleas that extended to include Macron's recent acknowledgement of France's role in enabling the genocide.

Rwanda is intolerant of political dissent, and this has spurred a movement of outspoken Rwandan YouTubers. Karasira's arrest is not the first of its kind, prior arrests have been publicly criticised for infringing on freedom of speech. According to News24, a couple of Rwandans have been on the receiving end of the government's crackdown.

Yvonne Ndamange was arrested in March this year after using her channel to call for protests against President Paul Kagame's "dictatorial rule". In a grave turn of events, poet and YouTuber Inncocent Bahati has been reportedly missing since February 7, 2021 after sharing personal poems that were critical of the government. However in light of these arrests, Karasira's stands out in that it singles out a historical event and dangerously uses it as cannon fodder to attack the current political regime. This is made no better by the fact that the former Information Technology lecturer was recently fired from the University of Rwanda for "ill discipline".

Read: France Offers Tepid 'Apology' to Rwanda During Kigali Genocide Memorial Speech

Karasira's arrest comes a week after Rwanda held a memorial for the 1994 genocide where French President Emmanuel Macron was in attendance. His accusations are a stark contrast to Macron's admittance that it is time for France to examine its role in the genocide.

Arts + Culture
Photo: Jonah Njoroge

This Kenyan Playwright Encourages Budding Young Artists to Speak Up

Xaiver Jerry Nato's company, Millaz Productions, is home to scriptwriters who want to use their work to address the social injustices they see around them.

In a scene from the theater play, I Know My Rights, which premiered last month at the Kenya Cultural Center’s Ukumbi Mdogo, a young man sits on a pavement in unidentified location in the city, just a few minutes before curfew time. Policemen approach him, and he makes the mistake of talking back at them, shouting about his rights. Not amused by the man’s reproach, the policemen descend on him with kicks and blows leaving him unconscious.

It’s a horrific scene, and unpleasant to watch, but it is a reality for many young people across the country who encounter similar situations. It’s also not the only violent scene in the play, co-written by Teddy Munene and Saumu Kombo, young scriptwriters at Millaz Production. In another, a policeman pulls out a gun and shoots the young man between his eyes, killing him on the spot. It is revealed that the young man had founded an organization to uplift people from poverty, but had been sold out to the cops by his co-founder, for money.

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