Rwandan police on Thursday announced the arrest of six people including the owner of a popular YouTube channel and three opposition party members for “spreading rumours” intended to undermine the government.
The arrests came two weeks after a court sentenced a prominent YouTube commentator and genocide survivor to 15 years in prison for “inciting violence” following her criticism of President Paul Kagame.
In the latest round-up Wednesday, police took six people into custody including Nsengimana Theoneste, the owner of Umubavu TV — a YouTube channel with over 16 million views, which has previously urged Rwandans to denounce human rights abuses allegedly instigated by the government against citizens.
“They are an organised group with the intention to spread rumours intended to cause uprising or unrest among the population using different social media platforms,” Thierry Murangira, spokesman for the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), told AFP Thursday.
In a statement Wednesday, RIB urged Rwandans to be wary of social media commentators seeking to “undermine national security” and the government.
“Anyone arrested will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” it added