Rwanda : Courtesy visit of the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

PRESS RELEASE

On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, HE the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Kigali, Ms. Leoni Cuelenaere paid a courtesy visit to political prisoner and President of FDU-Inkingi, Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in her cell in the Kigali Central Prison. The visit took place after a long struggle of the ambassador who wanted to see for herself prison conditions of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. They have deteriorated since the change in leadership at the central prison.

Ignoring all diplomatic protocol, the ambassador was unceremoniously forced to meet Ms. Ingabire not only in the management offices, but was also instructed to speak in English so that the conversation could be recorded. Indeed, there was a security agent in the office who recorded the conversation with his mobile phone. Poor lighting in the prison which is part of the newly introduced measures taken by prison authorities against Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza has affected her eyesight and was recently taken to hospital for medical treatment. Her complaints about the effect of poor lighting on her eyesight have been persistently ignored.

FDU-Inkingi would like to express their thanks to the Ambassador of the Netherlands and through her to her country, for her determination and perseverance in resisting intimidation and going ahead to see for herself the bad treatment meted of this political prisoner.

FDU-Inkingi deplore and condemn this unbecoming treatment of a diplomat from a country which is yet in the circle of friends of the regime, in an attempt to deter her country from monitoring the conditions of detention of Madame Ingabire.

FDU-Inkingi reiterates that the Rwandan problem is primarily political and it will in no way be resolved by political trial. The solution lies in opening the political space for all political views and accepting a Highly Inclusive National Political Dialogue.

Done in London February 18, 2015.

Justin Bahunga
Commissioner for External Relations and Spokesman
FDU-Inkingi