Amnesty: Rwanda polls marred by chilling 'climate of fear'

AP News
Posted: Jul 06, 2017 7:02 PM

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Amnesty International says presidential polls in Rwanda next month will be held under "a climate of fear" as the long-time leader seeks a third term.

The group says in a new report that the election — scheduled for Aug. 4 — follows two decades of restrictions on political opponents, journalists and rights activists who have been jailed, killed or forced to flee.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been his country's de facto leader or president since his rebel group ended the 1994 genocide.

Only one opposition candidate, Frank Habineza, has been cleared by the electoral commission to run against Kagame. Other nominees, including a woman, are awaiting approval.

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Although Kagame is credited with leading the country to impressive economic growth, critics say he is intolerant of legitimate opposition.