It is widely agreed that most Rwandan citizens are not aware of their legal rights and responsibilities. This is especially true for individuals in rural communities. Because radio is the lifeblood of many rural communities, IBJ is launching, early November, a legal education radio program to address current exigencies in the country.

The launching date is November 1st. Contact Fm, a popular radio with nationwide broadcasts, partners with IBJ to carry out this project. Adverts informing about the campaign are already on tunes in Kinyarwanda, Rwanda’s local language. Each of the 8 programs will focus on the legal rights of the accused at the different stages of the proceeding: the rights at time of arrest, the right to legal counsel, and the rights during investigation, detention and trial.

The live talk shows will feature prominent personalities of the Rwandan criminal justice system. Among them, the Bâtonnier (President of the Kigali Bar Association) Maître Vincent Karangwa will honor the first program of his presence. Bosco, IBJ Rwanda Fellow, will lead the  discussions.

Of all the media, radio is by far the most accessible, pervasive, and most effective medium for disseminating information. Research and educational organizations that monitor the reception of programs have proven that effective educational radio programs can indeed change listeners’ behavior and lead to the growth of knowledge. This is what we envision in Rwanda, so that every man, woman and child is capable of demanding respect of their legal rights in case of arrest.

Stay tuned for updates!


Above: From left to right: Me Vincent Karangwa, President of the Bar Association, Karen Tse, IBJ Founder and John Bosco Bugingo, IBJ Rwanda Fellow (Photo by Sanjeewa Liyanage)