Kagame guards harass journalists over Rwigara family

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame (L) arrives in Dar es Salaam on May 13 , 2015 for a crisis summit of East African leaders

Rwanda police has acknowledged an ugly incident on Friday where four journalists claimed they were harassed by members of the Republican Guard.

The Republican Guard is responsible for the safety of President Paul Kagame, the first family and other key government officials.

According to the report, guards harassed the journalists as they tried to locate and access the residence of the Rwigara family in the Kiyovu neighbourhood in Kigali.

The area is ordinarily patrolled by the Republican Guard as it is in the proximity of the State House.

According to RNP Spokesperson, ACP Theos Badege, the officers became suspicious of the movements of the individuals, approached and identified themselves, leading to a verbal confrontation.

“This was clearly a case of mistaken identity and miscommunication. There should not have been misunderstanding as both the officers and the journalists were legally carrying out their respective duties.”

The journalists promptly reported the incident to the RNP who clarified the situation. There was no reason to claim harassment, he said.

“The RNP recognises the right of media to gather news, while respecting the law. In this case, no law was violated.”

Regarding media speculation around members of the Rwigara family, ACP Badege said none of them are in custody, and the RNP is aware that they are in contact with, and regularly visited at their residence, by their lawyer.

“They also report to Police when summoned, as the investigations continue. They have requested for postponement of further questioning in order to consult further with their lawyers and this has been granted.”

Diane Rwigara, her mother and sisters were reported missing after police raided their home this week.

Diane’s brother said they were taken by security agencies.

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