The Rwandan government and its institutions, particularly security forces are appearing more and more repressive as Election Day – August 9th approaches.
On Sunday July 25th the Rwandan government radio station reported that 2 people were arrested for planning an illegal protest for the following Monday.
‘The victims of this unexpected arrest, Mr Martin Ntavuka – FDU-Inkingi leader in Nyarugenge district and Mr Anastase Hagabimana – FDU-Inkingi leader in Kicukiro District, were handcuffed, beaten and taken to the Remera police detention facility,’ said Salem-News.
Salem-News was told the accused, while guests, were apprehended at the temporary residence of Victoire Ingabire, Chair of FDU-Inkingi, one of the opposition parties whose registration has been refused by the authorities. The watchman at the property was left with face injuries including one eye swollen shut. Eye witnesses confirm death threats and ethnic hate abuses hurled on-spot by the officer Karekezi, a CID staff.
Superintendent and Police spokesperson Eric Kayiranga, announced on the state radio that once informed that these people were planning a protest, they followed them and caught them. They searched their car and found material for protest including signs and T-shirts. Kariranga explained that on that material were inscriptions of divisionism character and threatening national security. But he was reluctant to elaborate on what was written.
‘Our print t-shirts display normally our colours (green and red) and the text on either the front or the back says “WE NEED DEMOCRACY AND FAIR JUSTICE” or “TURASHAKA DEMOKARASI N’UBUTABERA BUSESUYE”. What is inflammatory in this?’ said Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in her press release on the incident.
Though it is illegal to protest in public without a written permission from Rwandan authorities, it looks even illegal from the police perspective to put sign on t-shirts without authorization because it can be judged as divisionism or a security issue in Rwanda.
In recent weeks and months there have been in Rwanda numerous incidents politically motivated which have seen journalists, members of opposition parties, human right activists, military dissidents disappeared imprisoned tortured or killed. Surprisingly, from Kagame’s government perspective, all this is happening to preserve peace, unity and democracy.