Rwanda | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Citing the contentious and provocative role of certain media outlets during the 1994 genocide, the present government sharply restricts the ability of the media to operate freely. In December 2001, however, President Paul Kagame vetoed a media bill passed by the parliament in September that prescribed the death penalty for journalists found guilty of inciting genocide and would have compelled reporters to reveal confidential sources. The state continues to monopolize the broadcast media, although a media bill passed in June paved the way for the licensing of private radio and TV stations. There are a growing number of independent newspapers, but fearing official reprisals, many journalists practice self-censorship and coverage tends to follow the government line. Reporters continued to suffer intimidation, arbitrary arrest and detention, and deportation at the hands of authorities. The government is also able to influence the press through its purchase of advertising space, upon which many private publications are financially dependent.