Popular Rwandan Youtuber Yvonne Idamange was on Thursday sentenced to 15-years in jail for her critical comments against President Paul Kagame.
Idamange, a genocide survivor, was also fined around Ksh221,100. The prosecution had sought a 30-year sentence and a Ksh663,300 fine.
The 42-year-old mother of four had been accused of “inciting violence” after she accused President Kagame of being a dictator on her channel.
She had also accused Kagame and his government of “exploiting the genocide without giving enough welfare to the survivors”.
A Rwandan court found her guilty on all six charges she faced, including inciting insurgencies or public uprisings and defaming genocide commemoration artifacts.
She was also convicted of spreading rumors, assault and causing bodily harm, obstructing the work of law enforcement agencies, and issuing a bouncing check.
The court ruled that the accused published several videos on YouTube with the intent of inciting insurgencies, causing instability, and tarnishing the image of the government and its leadership.
The prosecution had relied on videos from the Youtuber’s channel to argue their case in court.
When the police arrested Idamange in February this year they accused her of “exhibiting behaviour that mixes politics, criminality, and madness.”
This was after she claimed in one of her videos that Kagame “died a long time ago” and that citizens should protest at Village Urugwiro, demanding to see his body.
She had also claimed that COVID-19 had become a new tool for the government to repress people, replacing the 1994 Tutsi Genocide.
Idamange is among several Rwandan nationals who have fallen foul of authorities for using social media to criticize Kagame’s administration.