Dot coms behind bars

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Of all the things a man accused of inciting genocide could smuggle into a jail cell, a computer modem would seem low on the list. Yet that’s what UN officials seized from Hassan Ngeze, who ran a Web site from prison he used to denounce the international judges hearing his case.

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Ngeze was the editor of the Rwandan newspaper which published the Hutu Ten Commandments, a document that encouraged massive violence against the Tutsis, reports the GUARDIAN (UK). He has legal access to a telephone, fax, and personal computer in jail, which he has been using to attack the international court over the Internet. The Web site — with long defamations of the judges and photographs of Ngeze working out inside the prison — is registered under his name, but the UN has been unable to shut it down because it’s monitored by an outside supporter.

Ngeze has refused to attend his trial, alleging the judges are conspiring against him with the support of the Tutsi-led Rwandan government, and that the prosecution witnesses are lying.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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