Press & Accreditation Cards

Press & Accreditation Cards

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MHC Regulation concerning issuance of press cards in Rwanda

Given the Constitution, in article 34;

Pursuant the Law N° 22/2009 of 12/08/2009 GOVERNING THE MEDIA; in articles 5, 6, 7 8, 9, 10, and 11;

Pursuant the Law N°30 /2009 of 16/9/2009 CONCERNING THE MISSION, ORGANISATION AND FONCTIONING OF THE MEDIA HIGH COUNCIL (MHC) in article 6, paragraphs 5, 6 and 7;

After consultations with stakeholders, these requirements and procedures for broadcasting content licensing in Rwanda are hereby adopted by the Board of Directors and signed by the chairman of the Media High Council Board:

General provisions

Conditions for issuance and withdrawal of the press card in Rwanda.

In applying the provisions of Law N° 22/2009 of 12/08/2009 governing the media, the present regulation specifies the conditions for issuance and withdrawal of the press card in Rwanda.

Only the press agency or media enterprise may apply for the press card to be used by a journalist it has employed to the MHC Management.

Conditions for issuance of the press card to freelance journalists

Freelance journalists (including all who fit in this category) are required to apply to the Media High Council Management for authorisation to practise their profession, whereupon the latter shall issue the required press card subject to the conditions stipulated in articles 3 and 4.

The decision of denial of consent with respect to issuance of the press card may be the subject of an appeal lodged in the relevant court of law.

Requirements for the issuance of press cards to Rwandan journalists.

Basic provisions with respect to the application

In addition to the application, for all applicants the press agency or media enterprise should provide the following:

1. Detailed curriculum vitae of the applicant or beneficiary of the application;

2. Police clearance;

3. Two colour passport photographs;

4. ID statement;

5. Photocopy of the employee ID card of the would-be recipient of the press card;

6. Payment voucher for the press card, issued by the Rwanda Revenue Authority;

7. Certified copy of degree certificate or other academic qualifications in the field of journalism.

Cost of the press card

The cost of the press card is seven thousand Rwandan francs (Rwf 7,000) payable to the Rwanda Revenue Authority. Renewal of the same card shall also cost seven thousand Rwandan francs (Rwf 7,000).

Publication of the list of recipients and of conditions for withdrawal of the press card

The list of those who fulfil the requirements for obtaining the press card shall be displayed at the office of the Media High Council. Any journalist whose name is included on the list may obtain his or her press card upon presentation of a receipt or bank deposit slip corresponding to the amount specified in article 4.

Validity of the press card

The press card shall be valid for a renewable period of three (3) years.

Prescribed period for issuance of the press card

The press card shall be issued within a period of fifteen (15) days with effect from submission of the application. Should the application be unsuccessful, the same prescribed period of time shall apply (with respect to the applicant receiving a response).

Requirements for issuance of accreditation cards to foreign journalists

Basic provisions of the application to be submitted by foreign journalists

Before being granted a press card, all foreign journalists are required to provide the following to the MHC Management:

1. Two colour passport photographs;

2. One copy of the passport;

3. One copy of the visa. This does not apply to those to whom, by virtue of their nationality, the visa requirement does not apply;

4. Technical specifications of the equipment carried by the applicant;

5. One copy of the press card issued in the country of origin;

6. A payment voucher for issuance of the said card; the former is to be issued by the Rwanda Revenue Authority. This does not apply to those who are exonerated from this requirement by virtue of the ministerial decree issued by the Minister in charge of Information.

The cost of Accreditation card

A foreign Journalist requesting an accreditation card shall pay as follows to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA):

- US $ 30 for journalists wishing to stay in Rwanda for between one to fifteen days

- US $ 50 for journalists wishing to stay in Rwanda for between fifteen to one month ;

- US $ 100 for journalists wishing to stay in Rwanda for between one to three months ;

- US $ 200 for journalists wishing to stay in Rwanda during three to six months ;

- US $ 300 for journalists wishing to stay in Rwanda during six months to one year.

The renewal of the accreditation costs the same as initial cost of the card except otherwise established by the MHC.

Prescribed period of time for issuance of the press card to foreign journalists

The press card shall be delivered within a period of twenty four (24) working hours for those whose length of stay does not exceed one month, and seven (7) working days for those whose length of stay exceeds one month. Should the application be unsuccessful, the same prescribed period of time shall apply (with respect to the applicant receiving a response).

To be valid, the application should fulfil all the requirements stipulated in the previous article.

All foreign journalists are required to send an online application for the accreditation card to the Media High Council Management 48 hours before applying for their visa. In this case, the Media High Council Management shall respond within 24 hours. Should the application be successful, the Media High Council Management shall send a provisional letter of acceptance which will facilitate the application for a visa.

Conditions that call for temporary withdrawal of the press card

Initiative to have the press card temporarily withdrawn.

Upon the request of the press agency or media enterprise, or upon the initiative of the Media High Council Board of Directors, the latter may temporarily withdraw the press card from the concerned journalist in the following cases:

1. Serious and wilful breach of provisions of the Media Law or journalistic code of ethics;

2. Incapacity of a journalist to practise his or her profession, with documented proof from a qualified medical practitioner;

3. Loss of employment with the press agency or media enterprise that applied for the press card.

Prior to withdrawal of the press card, the journalist shall be given an opportunity to defend him or herself.

In the case of conviction on criminal charges, the relevant court may order the Media High Council Board of Directors to temporarily or permanently withdraw the press card.

Any journalist who has ceased to practise the profession is required to return the press card within a period of seven (7) working days.

Conditions under which a previously withdrawn press card is returned

Reasons for the return of the press card

Upon consideration of the reasons for the withdrawal of the press card; the press card shall be returned to the owner on the basis of the following:

1. Confirmation of recovery from the illness that had impeded the practising of the profession, with documented proof from a team of qualified medical practitioners;

2. Commencement of employment within another press agency or media enterprise;

3. End of the disciplinary sanction incurred.

Section 5: Conditions for permanent withdrawal of the press card

Causes of permanent withdrawal of the press card

The Media High Council Board of Directors shall, of its own initiative or upon request, permanently withdraw the press card of any Rwandan or foreign journalist found guilty of the following offences:

- Crime

- Any offence that amounts to divisionism and discrimination.

Entry into Force

The present regulation enters into force with effect from the date of signature, and shall be published in the National Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda.

Application Procedure

Please follow the link given below;

Press accreditation application

On behalf of the Media High Council Chairman

Mr. Arthur ASIIMWE

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