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RWANDA: MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MET WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF FDU-INKINGI IN KIGALI

PRESS RELEASE

MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MET WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF FDU-INKINGI IN KIGALI

After a formal written refusal by the Rwandan government, officially transmitted by Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to meet the political prisoner Mrs.  Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chairperson of FDU-Inkingi political party, on the grounds that because Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was convicted under Rwandan laws, her case should therefore not concern the European Parliament, the parliamentary delegation of the European Parliament Committee on women’s rights and gender equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament led by its President, the Spanish Member of European Parliament (MEP) Ms. Iratxe GARCÍA PÉREZ, met with a delegation from the Steering Committee of FDU-Inkingi led by the first Vice-President, Mr. Boniface Twagirimana accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner for Strategy and Political Affairs, Mr. Gratien Nsabiyaremye, on  September 21, 2016.

During their talks, the first Vice-President of FDU-Inkingi expressed difficult working conditions of the opposition in Rwanda (as evidenced by the recent abduction of Mr. Theophile Ntirutwa and the imprisonment of Miss Gasengayire Leonille) and in general, the state of human rights in Rwanda.

FDU-Inkingi would like to thank the European Parliament for sending its delegation to Rwanda to inquire about the limitations on human rights in Rwanda and for having clearly expressed its position on the unjust detention of the political prisoner Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.

FDU-Inkingi would also like to thank the delegation of the FEMM Commission for meeting with its representatives in Rwanda.

FDU-Inkingi remains convinced that the opening up of the political space to allow Rwandan citizens to exercise their constitutional rights of association and expression is the only way conducive to lasting peace in our country and in the Great Lakes region.

Done at Paris, 21 September 2016.

For FDU-Inkingi

Dr. Emmanuel Mwiseneza

Second Secretary General

Email: emwiseneza@hotmail.com

FDU-FEMM_EU.KIGALI-Sept2016-EN

RWANDA: THEOPHILE NTIRUTWA RECOVERED HIS FREEDOM AFTER TWO DAYS OF TORTURE

Kidnapped on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 9pm local time, Mr. Théophile Ntirutwa, local leader of FDU-Inkingi in Kigali-City, reappeared yesterday September 20, 2016 at 11pm.

According to his testimony, Mr. Théophile Ntirutwa was kidnapped by soldiers while he was returning home on his motorcycle. He was forced into their vehicle. Upon tying him up, handcuffing and blindfolding him, the soldiers took him to a locality he couldn’t formally identify because his head and eyes were covered. However, he thinks that it could be the Kami military barrack because of the time it took the soldiers to get there and evidence he came across for a brief moment when the bandage was removed from his eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 1: Théophile Ntirutwa before his abduction   Picture 2: Théophile Ntirutwa after his release

Renewed call on the Burundian and Rwandan Governments to conduct a prompt investigation of deaths in Lake Rweru

PRESS RELEASE N° 017/2016

In July and August 2014 more than forty (40) corpses were discovered, wrapped in plastic, in Lake Rweru, which borders Burundi and Rwanda

Following the discovery the United States government made an” urgent call on the Burundian and Rwandan Governments to conduct a prompt, thorough, impartial and concerted investigation of these deaths with the assistance of independent, international forensic experts”.

The US call had been preceded by the call for investigation on corpses found in Lake Rweru. A European Union official had told Radio France International that the EU had asked both countries to expedite investigations to identify where the bodies came from and the cause of the people’s death.

RWANDA: FDU-INKINGI CONDEMNS ARBITRARY SENTENCE OF ITS ASSISTANT TREASURER MISS GASENGAYIRE LEONILLE

As there was no evidence against Miss Leonille Gasengayire, the assistant treasurer of FDU-Inkingi, the court of first instance of Ruhango has ruled that she would be kept in detention for 30 days’ imprisonment, while the prosecution is looking for evidence to charge her. In its ruling, the court justified the detention on the ground that time was needed to gather evidence to prove her guilt.  Under normal procedures, the prosecution has to have evidence of guilt against the accused otherwise the accused should be released. The sentence is therefore part of a series of measures to harass political opponents and hence deter them from taking any initiative aimed at demanding the exercise of their fundamental human rights that are stipulated in the Rwandan Constitution.

RWANDA: Mrs. IRAGENA ILLUMINEE REPORTED TO HAVE DIED FROM TORTURE BY RWANDAN SECRET SERVICE AGENTS

We have just learned from the family of Mrs. IRAGENA Illuminee, who was kidnapped in the morning of March 26, 2016 on her way to work at the King Faisal Hospital in Kigali City, that she might have died from torture by Rwandan security agents. Mrs. Iragena Illuminee was known for her dedication to the cause of the poor in society. She was head of a local NGO, ABIRU, which helps children from very low-income families in Kigali City to get access to education. She was mother of three young children. Her husband had to flee after the kidnapping of his wife to avoid being arrested or abducted.

Despite the family’s efforts to alert authorities immediately after the abduction and our press release issued on April 12, 2016, no official information about the whereabouts of Mrs Iragena was made available to the family by the services responsible for the protection of citizens. This case was never brought before a judge for a criminal charge. On the contrary, credible sources have successively reported her being held at the infamous Kami military barracks, then at Kanombe military barracks, before losing all traces about her whereabouts. She had probably been transferred to one of the many “Safe Houses” (secret detention facilities) scattered in Kigali City. The Kami military barracks in the outskirts of Kigali City is notorious for its cruelty during interrogation to extract false testimony.

The arrest of Mrs IRAGENA Illuminee followed by her disappearance seemed to be related to the kidnapping of our treasurer, Miss Gasengayire Leonile, on March 26, 2016. Indeed, when Miss Gasengayire was kidnapped from the premises of the Kigali maximum prison, she was in possession of the book written by political prisoner Madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. This book belonged to Mrs Iragena Illuminée who had put her name on the book’s first page. During her questioning at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the police had questioned her about this book and the owner, which, it’s important to emphasize it, is not officially banned in Rwanda hence its possession should in no circumstances be a crime.

The political party FDU-Inkingi would like to ask the Rwandan authorities to shed full light on this case. In a country that prides itself on being one of the safest in the region, it is not normal that a citizen disappears for 6 months without the authorities providing any information to the victim’s family. The arrest and detention for the second time of Miss Gasengayire Leonile, who was kidnapped at the same time of the arrest of Mrs. Iragena Illuminee, adds to our concerns about the real intentions of this government, which under the guise of its ultra-security policy, wants to get rid of any dissenting voice, real or perceived as such.

Done in London, on August 30, 2016

FDU-INKINGI

Justin Bahunga

Commissioner for External Relations and Spokesperson

jbahunga@yahoo.co.uk

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THE LAW AGAINST RWANDAN GOVERNMENT CRITICS USED IN THE ARREST OF Ms LEONILE GASENGAYIRE, THE ASSISTANT TREASURER OF FDU-Inkingi.

Miss Gasengayire Léonille, Assistant Treasurer – of FDU-Inkingi was arrested at 6:30 in the morning of August 23, 2016 from the family home in Kivumu, Rutsiro and detained at the local police station without an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant was finally handed over eight (8) hours later under article 463 of the penal code relating to inciting the people against the government. As of mid-morning of today 24th August 2016, she had not been informed of the substantive issues that constitute the charge. In addition, despite several attempts, the Police has refused to her lawyer to meet her until 15h30 when the first questioning took place. Meanwhile Ms Leonille became sick and was taken to Health Centre for treatment.