Monthly Archives: April 2013

Rwanda : Felicitaties voor Koning Willem Alexander en Koningin Maxima

Lausanne 30 April 2013

Uwe majesteit Koning Willem Alexander en Koningin Maxima

Het is ons een groot genoegen om U te mogen feliciteren als Nieuwe Koning en Koninging der Nederlanden, namens de Rwandese oppositie partij FDU-Inkingi.

Wij hebben zoveel jaren van Koningin Beatrix mogen genieten en we hebben vol vertrouwen in uw koningsschap.

Rwanda:Throwing someone in jail for being critical of government policy is extremely sad, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza tells the Supreme Court.

Kigali, 30 April 2013,  

Continuing her submission to the Supreme Court, Mrs Ingabire told the Court that it is the duty of the Party she leads FDU-Inkingi to point out what is going wrong with government policies so that they are able to correct them. She said that it was sad that someone could be thrown in jail because he/she has criticised government policies. She added that it was time the government stopped considering those who criticise it as enemies but take them as people who are keen to build their country. The solution to the problem that the country is facing, she said, can only be solved through dialogue and political debate. She stated that as long as the regime continues to refuse such a dialogue and political debate and throws anyone who tries to point out what is wrong with government, she would consider the regime to be dictatorial.

The prosecution is appealing against three things: the High Court’s decision to clear Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza of the charge of forming an armed group and of spreading rumours intended to turn the population against the government and the High Court verdict to reduce her sentence.

Rwanda: The case against Victoire Ingabire falls apart as prosecution witness admit their testimonies were framed.

Kigali, 29th April 2013

On the 8th day of Ingabire’s appeal, the Supreme Court heard the prosecution witnesses namely Lieutenant-Colonel Tharcisse Nditurende, Lt Colonel Noël Habiyaremye, Captain Jean Marie Vianney Karuta and Major Vital Uwumuremyi. They all criticized the prosecution’s case especially in regard to the formation of an armed organization.

These witnesses had pleaded guilty in the High Court to have formed a military organization, the CDF which allegedly was to be a military wing of FDU-INKINGI. They affirm they have never been members of such organization because it has never existed. Mrs Victoire Ingabire’s conviction by the High Court was based on these confessions.

With regard to talks that these witnesses would have had with Madam Ingabire, Tharcisse Nditurende declared that they contacted Ingabire to see if she could be of any use to them, but she never responded positively, especially that she was more concerned about her intention to return to Rwanda and to enter political scene. He added that he immediately realized that he could not expect anything from someone who wanted to return to Rwanda.

Rwanda: Victoire Ingabire was sentenced on the ground of new charges based on documents found on Wikipedia – Defense counsel Barrister, Iain Edwards tells the Supreme Court

Press release

Kigali 23rd April 2013 ,


The Defence Counsel of political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Mr Iain Edwards has told the Supreme Court that his client was sentenced on the ground of  new charges based on documents found on Wikipedia and on personal thoughts expressed by Yves Ternon on the history of Rwanda and not at all based on Rwandan or international jurisprudence.

When the Defence Counsel Iain Edwards took the floor to give reasons for his appeal to the Supreme Court, he regretted how his client, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza had been sentenced by the High Court on the basis of new charges which were not brought before it during the trial while it had cleared her of the 6 charges submitted to it by the Prosecution. The two new charges include negationism/revisionism and high treason.

The defence counsel pointed out that the accusations are not based on legal documents but rather on information picked from Wikipedia without any reference to their author or place of publication. The High Court had also based its sentence on the publications of an individual, Yves Ternon, instead of using laws and regulations applicable in Rwanda and at international level. He regretted that the High court did not have the courtesy to invite the accused to say something about those publications.

Case study: Rwanda – freedom of association and expression

Commonwealth

Human Rights and Democracy 2012

The UK remains concerned over the constraints on political space in Rwanda, and is also disturbed about evidence of Rwandan support for the M23 militia who have committed human rights abuses in eastern DRC.

Freedom of association

Unregistered political parties experience harassment.  The law transferring responsibility for registering parties to the Rwanda Governance Board has yet to be passed.

Read  the 2012 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report .

FDU-Inkingi and RNC-Ihuriro attended a regional preparatory meeting in Oslo

Oslo, 20 April 2013

Today, 20 April 2013 in Oslo (Norway) together with people from the African Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, South Sudan) and Norwegian friends, members of the platform FDU-INKINGI and Rwanda National Congress (RNC) attended a preparatory conference on the African Great Lakes sub-region.

Our delegation comprises Jonathan Musonera (Head of Mobilisation, RNC)  and Sixbert Musangamfura (External relations commissioner, FDU-INKINGI).

The overall objective of this preparatory process is to provide guidance and to facilitate consultations in order to ensure the coordination of a conference on the African great lakes sub-region that will take place in Oslo in September 2013 bringing together people from the region, members of civil and political organisations, researchers, members of Norwegian local or international organisations. The conference will address key issues of human rights and lasting solution in the Eastern DRC and Rwanda.

On behalf of the platform FDU-INKINGI / RNC we express our deep gratitude to local partners, organisers and Norwegian international organisations.

Jonathan Musonera

Head of Mobilisation

 

 

Sixbert Musangamfura

External Relations Commissioner

Rwanda:2 decades after genocide, Hutu refugees in Uganda fear a forced return to Rwanda

From Washingtonpost :

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/2-decades-after-genocide-hutu-refugees-in-uganda-fear-a-forced-return-to-rwanda/2013/04/19/8aa74242-a8e4-11e2-9e1c-bb0fb0c2edd9_story.html

Rwanda:Ms. Ingabire’s defense to the Supreme Court: serious mistakes of the High Court are the basis of the denial of justice to their client

Press release 18th April 2013

The defence lawyers of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza show serious flaws in the trial process including the violation of the constitution and demand her full acquittal.

Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza continued her submission in the Supreme Court on Thursday 18 th April 2013, demonstrating how her sentence was based on matters that were not brought before the High Court during her trial.

In her appeal Mrs Ingabire, political prisoner since 2010, continued her argumentation against the sentence passed by the High Court on the charge of genocide denial (negationism/revisionism). She condemned the judge of the High Court for passing a sentence based on sentiments rather than solid evidence. The judgement was based on the reports that Mrs Victoire Ingabire had submitted to the Court including UN documents. The documents analysed the root causes of genocide against Tutsi, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The judge purported that Mrs Victoire Ingabire had distorted the content of those reports.

RWANDA: POLITICAL PRISONER INGABIRE SUPREME COURT APPEAL SUBMISSION

Kigali  April 17 2013

 

Mrs Ingabire appeals to the Supreme Court to quash the sentence passed by the High Court because it was based on matters that were not brought before the court by the Prosecution.  

On Wednesday 17th April 2013 Mrs Ingabire Umuhoza, made submission to the Supreme Court, asking the Supreme Court to quash the sentence passed on her by the High court because the latter had cleared her of the charges brought before it but strangely based its sentence on matters that did not appear in the prosecution’s charges.

Mrs Ingabire reminded the Supreme Court of the charges brought against her by the Prosecution namely: genocidal ideology, complicity in acts of terrorism, subversive activities, spreading rumors, and forming an armed rebel group and trying to jeopardize state security and some dispositions of the constitution.

Mrs Ingabire was then surprised that the High Court which cleared her on these charges, found her guilty of the crimes of high treason and negationism which the Prosecution did not bring against her. Besides, she was never questioned on these issues by the prosecution, the Police, or even the court.

Mrs Ingabire told the Supreme Court that her appeal rested on 3 following key issues:

(Français) Rwanda: Madame Ingabire réclame justice à la cour suprême de Kigali.

Kigali le 17 Avril 2013
Madame Ingabire réclame justice à  la cour suprême par ce qu’elle a été acquittée sur tous les chefs d’accusation du ministère public mais a été surprise d’être condamnée sur des faits qui ne figurent pas dans l’acte d’accusation
Ce mercredi vers 8h30, la cour a entendu les motivations de l’appel interjeté par Madame Victoire Ingabire, présidente des FDU INKINGI et prisonnière politique. Madame Ingabire a d’abord rappelé les chefs d’accusation qui figuraient dans l’acte d’accusation du ministère public, à savoir : l’idéologie génocidaire, complicité dans des actes de terrorisme, actes subversifs, propagation de rumeurs, mise en place d’une rébellion armée et atteinte à la sécurité de l’Etat en place et certaines dispositions de sa constitution.
Madame Ingabire a dit qu’elle avait été étonnée de voir que la Haute Cour l’avait acquittée sur les chefs d’accusations du Ministère public, mais l’avait trouvée coupable de trahison et de négationnisme alors que le ministère public n’avait pas retenu ces chefs d’accusation. Par ailleurs que ce soit devant le ministère public , la police judiciaire ou devant le tribunal, elle n’avait jamais été questionnée sur ces faits précis.
Madame Ingabire a dès lors déclaré devant la cour que son appel était basé sur 3 éléments de question préliminaires :
Kigali le 17 Avril 2013
Madame Ingabire réclame justice à  la cour suprême par ce qu’elle a été acquittée sur tous les chefs d’accusation du ministère public mais a été surprise d’être condamnée sur des faits qui ne figurent pas dans l’acte d’accusation
Ce mercredi vers 8h30, la cour a entendu les motivations de l’appel interjeté par Madame Victoire Ingabire, présidente des FDU INKINGI et prisonnière politique. Madame Ingabire a d’abord rappelé les chefs d’accusation qui figuraient dans l’acte d’accusation du ministère public, à savoir : l’idéologie génocidaire, complicité dans des actes de terrorisme, actes subversifs, propagation de rumeurs, mise en place d’une rébellion armée et atteinte à la sécurité de l’Etat en place et certaines dispositions de sa constitution.
Madame Ingabire a dit qu’elle avait été étonnée de voir que la Haute Cour l’avait acquittée sur les chefs d’accusations du Ministère public, mais l’avait trouvée coupable de trahison et de négationnisme alors que le ministère public n’avait pas retenu ces chefs d’accusation. Par ailleurs que ce soit devant le ministère public , la police judiciaire ou devant le tribunal, elle n’avait jamais été questionnée sur ces faits précis.
Madame Ingabire a dès lors déclaré devant la cour que son appel était basé sur 3 éléments de question préliminaires :

Rwanda: Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim Secretary General, transferred to Kimironko Prison today.

April 11, 2013

Yesterday, the Gasabo Intermediate Court (Kigali) refused bail to Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim Secretary general, and authorized a 30-day renewable provisional detention. He is now transferred to Kimironko Prison. Political prisoner Madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, FDU-Inkingi Chair,is in Kigali central prison, completing today her 910th day in captivity, serving a sentence of 8 years based on politically trumped up charges.

RWANDA – Urgent Appeal: Torture and illegal detention of Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim Secretary General

April 2nd, 2013

Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim Secretary General, was arrested by the police in the premises of the Supreme Court at the opening of the appeal hearing of political prisoner Madam Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza on 25 March 2013.

He was severely beaten, and left with a broken tooth, traumatized jaw, bruised head and body and swollen members.

In reality, no known action has been taken against the officers involved in this custodial torture. Another barometer of the rule of law in the country.