journalist John Williams Ntwali; one of the few journalists in Rwanda who published stories critical of the government, has died.
Ntwali was the only fatality in a car crash in Kigali on Wednesday, police spokesman John Bosco Kabera told Reuters. The driver of the second vehicle was arrest. The accident file is being process and sent to the prosecutor,” Kabera said.
Several human rights groups are calling for an independent investigation into his death. As scores of journalists, advocates and critics of President Paul Kagame. His ruling party have mysteriously disappear, been find dead or imprison.
Human Rights Watch said he “joins a long list of people. Who have defied the government and died under suspicious circumstances.”
John Williams Ntwali was a lifeline for many victims of human rights violations and often the only journalist who dared to report political persecution and repression,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
The media environment in Rwanda is oppressive, tightly controlled and dangerous. According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, 17 journalists have been murder in the last two decades. As editor of The Chronicles newspaper, Ntwali investigated high-profile political trials, corruption cases and other sensitive issues. He has frequently posted items critical of the government’s approach on his social media feed and YouTube channel. On January 10, Ntwali posted a report on his Twitter account about the Rwandan government’s interference in religious administration.
He has been arrest several times in his career and has often spoken of fearing for his life and safety.