KIGALI, 5 March 2021 – A Rwandese YouTuber, Yvonne Iryamugwiza, has been arraigned in court to face six charges, including public disorder and insurrection.
Iryamugwiza first rose to prominence thanks to videos posted on her YouTube channel in which she sharply criticizes Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Three of the charges judicial authorities in Kigali are bringing against Iryamugwiza include claims that she was “spreading rumors using technology”, “using counterfeit bank cheques” and “obstruction of the implementation of government policies”.
The YouTuber denies all the charges.
She rentered the “not guilty” plea on Thursday during her first court appearance since she was arrested last February 15.
Observers believe that officials in Rwanda are particularly irked by the way in which she has discussed the 1994 Rwanda Genocide on her channel.
In one of her YouTube videos, she criticized the Kagame administration for choosing to display the bones of genocide victims in memorials, recommending that the remains be buried in dignity.
Rwanda’s opposition PS Imberakur has criticized her arrest and arraignment, describing it as an attempt to stifle free speech.