Rwanda has made great strides reforming defamation laws; however, there is further need to halt online censorship and harassment of journalists along with worrying cybersecurity and ICT laws.

Rwanda, also referred to as “The Land of a Thousand Hills” is situated in East Africa and has a population of approximately 12.3million people. After the devastating genocide in 1994, Rwanda has over the years resiliently rebuilt the country is currently anchored by a robust ICT roadmap geared towards digitalising the economy. The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, press, access to information and privacy. In 2019, the Supreme Court decriminalised defamation and humiliation of public figures, in a bid to promote freedom of expression. Despite these guarantees, online platforms including websites have been blocked while many journalists have been harassed for doing their work. Interception laws like Law n°60/2013 of 22/08/2013 and Law No. 24 of 2016 governing ICT have caused a chilling effect and self-censorship among journalists and social media users, undermining the internet’s potential to advance free expression and the free flow of information.

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    Households with internet access in 2020

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    Individuals using internet in 2020

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    Fixed Broadband Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2020

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    Press Freedom Ranking in 2022

Upr cycle

Rwanda was last reviewed in January 2021.

Digital Rights and Free Expression Recommendations

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      Partner organisations

      Over a hundred local and international human rights organisations are part of the wider Uproar programme. You can find them listed here.

      Rwanda cluster

      The country clusters are a local working group in each Uproar target country made up of our partner organisations. The clusters are organised by local lead organisations, who then coordinate local civil society and human rights defenders with digital rights expertise to engage in national-level advocacy and campaigning.