Except for the government owned media and affiliates, Kagame has succeeded in abolishing free press. His war against the press is so impeccably fought that it will leave most dictators jealous. This is no joke: Kagame is probably the only predator of the press as outlined by Reporters without Borders to be feted by global institutions such as Davos. Yesterday it was announced that YouTube worldwide would host Kagame on, “an online interview platform that has featured prominent world leaders” such as Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu and David Cameron. How this press predator makes it to such circles is anyone’s guess.
I understand YouTube’s intention to bring Africa to the world. However, shouldn’t they be turned away by Kagame’s human rights record or haven’t they done their homework? You would think that a “powerful” leader isn’t one who just fills the greatest number of his citizens in jail. You would think that such things as democracy would have been considered. I can think of a number of African leaders that would have qualified for such promotion, people like Botswansa’s Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Giving such a platform to an abuser of human right is both destructive and counterproductive. YouTube should be helping make the world more democratic and helping promote freedom of speech. Being associated with a despot, accused of such crimes as genocide does not rhyme well with YouTube’s image.
Given the anti-Kagame activism on YouTube, I am sure that he would have closed down the network if he had the power to do so. He has precisely attempted to do that in the past against the BBC and the Voice of America.