The idea that free speech can be silenced by simply imprisoning those who don’t play by the rules is irrational. While the tactic eliminates imminent danger by removing the dissident, research has shown that it does nothing really in countering the forces of free speech. But some governments, choose not to believe this as holding any water.
They will arrest anyone who treads the path they are not officially meant to or at least, bring up trumped charges to those whose writing they find ‘not very pleasing’.
The defarmation case against Rwandan journalist Jean Bosco Gasasira, editor of the local Umuvugizi newspaper is shocking to say the least. But it will have come as no surprise to him, and all those journalists still trading their skill in Rwanda. For in Rwanda, you are either with them (government) or against them.
Gasasira is being sued by Deputy Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana, and Dr. Diane Gashumba for alleged defamation in an article detailing a complicated sexual triangle that even many of those following the trial have difficulty understanding.
The argument being of course that Gasasira went into reporting the private lives of the two powerful shots. While this may be true, it goes no where to deny the fact that the life of a public prosecutor should not be known to the public. Public figures have the right to privacy but as public officials, they owe the public explanations when they begin indulging in acts contraly to acceptable social norms.
But why imprison a messenger who is simply bringing to light the unnaceptable behaviour?