‘Unflattering’ cartoons of politicians banned in Rwanda


The careers and future of cartoonists in Rwanda have been threatened due to the Rwandan government’s decision to outlaw cartoons that portray politicians in an “unflattering” manner.

Parliament passed the new law last month and is awaiting approval from President Paul Kagame.  The president is known by human rights groups of ruling the East African country with an iron fist, tolerating no political dissent or criticism.

If this law comes into effect after being approved by Kagame, anyone convicted of breaking it risks imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to Rwf1 million, the Global Information Network reported (GIN).

Cartoon targeting sessions of parliament will receive double the penalty.

“In the trade of journalism, cartoons are by nature humorous… leaders may perceive them negatively or as humiliating even when they’re not,” the association’s executive secretary Gonza Muganwa said.

Defamation of the president is already illegal and anyone found guilty faces up to five to seven years in prison and a fine of $8 140.


-African News Agency (ANA)

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