IFJ Urges Rwandan Government to Lift Ban on Belgian Reporter

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today urged the Rwandan government to allow well-known Belgian journalist Peter Verlinden to enter the country after his critical reporting led authorities last week to claim he was “biased” and ban him from the country.

“Reporters and their editors should make all decisions regarding news coverage and governments should not intervene to shape that coverage,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White in a letter to President Paul Kagame.

Verlinden, who works for VRT public television news, was told last week that he could not enter Rwanda with Belgian Development Co-operation Minister Charles Michel on his visit to Kigali. Authorities claimed that his reporting on Rwandan news has been “biased” and “genocidal.”

The IFJ, the Belgian journalists’ union and Verlinden’s bosses at VRT are all supporting his reporting and calling on the Rwandan government to allow him to travel in the country and work freely.

The IFJ believes that all journalists must exercise good judgement to ensure that their reporting is fair and unbiased.

Click here to read the letter.

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide