KAMPALA (Reuters) - A Rwandan journalist, who was living as a political refugee in Uganda’s capital, has been shot dead in a bar, police said.
Charles Ingabire, editor of the Inyenyeri News website and a prominent and vocal critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, was killed at around midnight on Thursday, said officers.
“He was shot dead at a bar. We have arrested two people, a guard and a barmaid, and they’re helping with investigations,” Ibn Senkumbi, police spokesman for the Kampala metropolitan area, told Reuters.
Police said he had been given refugee status for political reasons, but added that they had not established a motive for the shooting. Well-known Rwandan exiles were quick to blame the country’s security forces in posts on social media websites.
The Rwandan government has denied all accusations that it targets its opponents abroad, dismissing them as “preposterous” claims cooked up by a bitter opposition.
Seventeen years on from a genocide which killed up to 800,000 people, Rwanda, under Kagame’s leadership, has become a darling of Western donors and investors.
But human rights groups have raised concerns about rising political repression, particularly around the time of an election last year in which Kagame won another seven-year term.
Rights groups at the time accused the security forces of being behind the killing of a local journalist and an opposition official who was found nearly beheaded.
Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, a former Rwandan army chief and liberation hero who had fallen out with Kagame, was wounded by a gunman in South Africa last year.
British police in May warned a prominent exiled dissident that they believed he was at risk of being assassinated by the Rwandan government.