Monthly Archives: October 2010

Paul Kagame wants to break democratic aspirations in Rwanda

Thursday 28th, 2010, at 2.00 pm (Rwanda time), police forces enter FDU-Inkingi office and party officials’ houses in Kigali. They searched them thoroughly, apparently looking for additional clues to fabricate evidences against Victoire Ingabire, who is already in prison since October 14th. In some cases, this was the second time the police had searched officials’ residences.

Without any warrant to search the properties, policemen took computers, documents, and everything they found hopefully to make their case against FDU-Inkingi leaders. FDU leaders in Kigali are trying to find alternative means to be able to communicate and operate within a very hostile environment created and led by Paul Kagame government and institutions.

The Socialist Party Imberakuri had experienced similar acts of illegal intrusion into private property in July 2010, when the police vandalized the party’s office in Nyamirambo. Surprisingly, even this added to persistent interference of Kagame’s institutions in trying to run the party by breaking it up into two factions, its Chairman Me Bernard Ntaganda now nearly made temporally disable and lying in King Faycal Hospital after intensive torture by the regime, has refused to become a Kagame’s stooge.

Apparently the objective of Kagame’s regime is to break up everything which could help support the idea of democracy in Rwanda. In that line, the prosecutor Martin Ngoga has renewed his attacks against Paul Rusesabagina accusing him of being a terrorist. Accusing anyone of terrorism lands in listening ears in the West, but not when you are yourself a genocidaire. The prosecutor forgets that the UN report on crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo is crystal clear on the role of his master Paul Kagame in documented acts of genocide against Hutus refugees and Hutu Congolese populations.

Fooling the world about offence of terrorism to get political opponents tortured and imprisoned won’t stand long since Paul Kagame is himself accused of similar if not worst crimes. He can pretend or be in denial, but it won’t take long for him to be caught with truth. Barack Obama may be currently preoccupied by his mid term US elections. But on his inauguration on January 20th, 2009, he said,’ ‘To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills to the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extent a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.’

Rwandans have suffered enough in the hands of Paul Kagame. We know he is clinging on power only because it is there he can legally avoid facing his crimes. But even Omar al-Bashir, though still President of Sudan, has been officially accused and summoned by a warrant by an International Criminal Court. Consequently, we should watch what is coming in the case of Rwanda and his president. There is in Rwanda paramount need for unity as a nation, real reconciliation, and equity in accessing opportunities, transparency and accountability before the population and good governance. And this is not about Victoire Ingabire, Deo Mushayidi, Me Bernard Ntaganda, Frank Habineza, and many others, or Hutus, Tutsis or Twas. Rwandans are hungry of democratic aspirations Paul Kagame cannot provide. The like of Victoire Ingabire leaders have started a revolution that Kagame’s mighty will not be able to stop.

Read, personalise, then send to your representative at the parliament of which government supports Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president

There is nothing like experience. When I first landed in the West, fleeing Africa, after my home country Rwanda was savaged by war, there is one understanding I got aware of firsthand. Ordinary Westerners are fed with filtered and misrepresentative news about what raw African realities generally are, and particularly in the case of tragic events in specific countries such as Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite the blame developing countries put generally on the West for their structural problems, either social or economic, Western leaders are relatively democratic, as their political survival depends on what the public thinks of them. They may be pursuing policies detrimental to the developing world (meaning citizens and not necessarily local political leaders who may be accomplices), if they loose the confidence of the public, i.e. their electorate, this becomes the ultimate end of their political career as they may have wanted it to be.

A list of countries top the group of those which have been effectively supporting financially Paul Kagame’s government at the point that if for any particular reason such backing stopped, Rwandan public services wouldn’t be able to function normally. More than 50% of Rwandan government budget come from external aid. Countries keeping the Rwandan government afloat include US, UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, etc. There are also international institutions, such EU, backing Rwanda financially.

Though abuse of human rights has reached an intolerable level in the Great Lakes region of Africa, particularly in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, nothing seems to bother Western governments which are financing Paul Kagame, the main destabilising factor of the whole region.

In order to change the public opinion in these countries I would like you to invite to read carefully the following letter, personalise, then send it to your representative at the parliament of your government.

                                                                                                                               Your names 
                                                                                                                               Address

Date

Your representative
Address

Call for Immediate Release of Ms Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and other Rwandan political prisoners

Honorable,

I write to request your urgent intervention to help release Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chairperson of FDU-Inkingi opposition party in Rwanda, with no more conditions and also free all other hundreds of Rwandan political prisoners.

Ms Victoire Ingabire is a mother of three children. Her family lives in The Netherlands. She returned to Rwanda in January 2010 after sixteen years of exile. Since her arrival she has been consistently publicly intimidated and harassed by the Rwandan government institutions. In April 2010 she was imprisoned then released on bail.

FDU-Inkingi, Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza’s political party, and other parties from the opposition have been refused their registration to participate to the August 9th, 2010 presidential elections, in which Paul Kagame allocated himself 93% of the vote.

Ms Victoire Ingabire was re-arrested and immediately incarcerated on October 14th, 2010. She has been detained in inhuman and humiliating conditions, handcuffed day and night, and denied any sleeping item. The longer she stays under the mercy of Paul Kagame’s prison guards, the more we become very concerned that she may be treated and incapacitated like the former Head of State, Mr. Pasteur Bizimungu.

The alleged crimes for Victoire Ingabire’s imprisonment are seemingly politically motivated charges of forming a terrorist organization (Coalition of Democratic Forces as an alleged military wing of FDU-Inkingi). She denies the accusations and has pleaded not guilty explaining that she was only being imprisoned for being a persistent critic of Paul Kagame’s government. 

Honorable

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and many other advocacy organizations have for several years pointed to institutionalized abuse of civil rights in Rwanda, where any dissent voice is immediately crashed violently.

Opposition leaders are either killed or imprisoned. Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, Vice President of the Green Democratic Party, was assassinated and found decapitated on 14th July 2010, till now his killers have not faced justice and there are no signs of on-going investigations despite the fact that the UN Secretary General, EU, France and Canada called for investigations.

The Founding President of The Social Party Imberakuri, Maître Bernard Ntaganda is in prison since 24th June 2010. He is in critical health conditions and has been admitted at King Faycal Hospital for treatment. He is reported to be losing sight and to be paralyzed due to ill-treatment in the Kigali Maximum Prison known as “1930”.

The UN report released on October 1st on crimes committed in Democratic Republic of Congo documents atrocities including acts which could be qualified as genocide in front of a court, and of which Paul Kagame forces are responsible.

With the help of his strong lobby and PR machineries particularly backed by powerful personalities in US and UK, the Rwandan president has been so far capable of remaining unpunished despite his significant and irrefutable responsibility in the millions of victims that his criminal ventures have caused in Rwanda and the whole Great Lakes region.

Honorable,

Ms Victoire Ingabire politician case is the latest in Paul Kagame’s strategy of remaining in power indefinitely unchallenged peacefully and democratically.

Our government has committed to support Rwanda at a high cost and without any good value of what citizens of this country are giving away in terms of their taxes. This allocation has been so far distributed to Kagame’s government without questioning its records particularly on human rights grounds.

At the time when our government and people are living under drastic budget cuts in different areas of their welfare, it should objectively be the moment to use the financial leverage we have as a nation to put strict and new conditions on our country’s assistance to Rwanda.

These conditions would include:

  • Immediate release of Ms Victoire Ingabire, all Rwandan political prisoners, and other prisoners without judiciary files, elderly and seriously ill.
  • Opening up political space and allow registration of political parties of the opposition
  • Putting in place a Truth, Reconciliation Commission and a Rwandan National Dialogue
  • Agreeing to form a Transitional Government of National Unity to prepare democratic and truly inclusive and transparent elections

Honorable,

If you could divert some attention to this emergency effort to end the abuse towards a courageous woman in Rwanda, you would be serving a significant cause.

This is in the wider context of Kagame’s outrage at being in effect indicted for genocide by the UN report leaked last August, forcing an official release October 1. It is also in the context of an ominous Rwandan troop build-up and displacement of refugees from North Kivu which is ongoing.

Hoping to count on your prompt appreciation of the seriousness of prevailing situation in Rwanda, I look forward to getting your rapid intervention towards our government on the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Name

Signed

Further evidence of Paul Kagame’s destabilizing character in Eastern Congo

Saturday, 30 October 2010 at 18:54 – David Barouski reported on his online pages facts confirming what has always been the reality on the ground but carefully misrepresented in mainstream media, because of diverse interests they protect. The destabilizing character of Paul Kagame in Eastern Congo under different disguises is uncontestable since the time he first invaded DRC alongside Uganda and Burundi in 1996.

Barouski explains that, ‘Rwandan soldiers in FARDC uniforms have been spotted near some of the mining areas there.  There are also reportedly Rwandans trying to strike deals with Congolese traders in Beni-Lubero to create mining cooperatives.  Some sources claim they are planning to go to Northern Katanga and South Kivu as well.  Sources in Goma claim that, despite the smuggling, coltan stocks bought illegally before the mining ban are being smuggled to Rwanda without much problem, as the border guards and customs officials are still easily paid off.  Charcoal, ivory, wildlife, and cash crops are still smuggled as well.’

The source continues highlighting other troubling development further south in the same Eastern Congo. ‘In South Kivu, the FRF have allied with the FDLR.  In the past, prior to the arrest of Laurent Nkunda, the FRF was allied with the CNDP and Kigali, as pointed out in the UN Panel of Experts report of 2008.  Both groups joined, in part, because their numbers have dwindled.  The FDLR has lost about half of its capacity due to the FARDC and RDF operations.  However, RDF soldiers who deployed in the area, along with Amani Leo units, have been unable to dislodge them due to difficult terrain.  RDF soldiers are said to be fighting the FRF in Itwombe.  There is talk that the FNL may join this coalition, and other Bembe from that region may join in as well.’

David Barouski goes on explaining some of the intricacies of what forces on the ground are at.

Rwanda is concerned that if the FNL take to fighting again, and especially if they team up with the FDLR, the FDLR will be able to have access to inflitrate Rwanda from the southern front via Nyungwe if they can get past border security and the patrols and bases in and along the forest.  Rwanda’s forces are stretched somewhat thin, as numerous soldiers have infiltrated Congo to fight and other 3,200 – 3,300 soldiers and police are in Darfur.  There is also the pro-Nkundists, defected RDF soldiers, and the CND holed up in Uganda to the North.   Rwanda does not need to defend another front.  The RDF soldiers in Congo hope to severely weaken the FDLR, FPLC, pro-Nkundists, and all other anti-Rwandan militias before they can organize and possibly form an alliance.  Kigali would prefer to use smaller commando units and use their army intermittently, not as an occupying force in large numbers.

After the mass rapes in Luvungi, following a meeting between President Kagame and President Kabila, the FARDC inacted the mining ban and launched a military attack in Walikale territory to defeat the Mai-Mai Cheka, FDLR led by General Mudacamura and a militia led by Colonel Emmanuel Nsengiyumva.  The militia allegedly has pro-Nkundists in its ranks.  With Kabila’s permission, the RDF went to Walikale and sources claim Bosco was sent there as well.  The purpose of the operation appears to be to get the mine out of the hands of the FDLR and pro-Nkundists and back into the hands of Bosco and his loyalists in the FARDC and his militia the FLEC.  They can still collect illegal taxation along the routes.  That way, Rwanda, and the FLEC, can potentially at some point benefit from the cassiterite trade there while depriving anti-Rwandan militias of the funding they sorely need.  Rwanda needs to back the FLEC as a proxy against the anti-Rwandan militias and the FLEC is protecting some of the land owned by prominent RPF members and high-ranking RDF soldiers.

They are also helping provide protection for the Tutsi refugee returnees, and the Rwandans who are sneaking across the border with them and settling in Masisi territory, bringing their cattle and belongings with them.  Some sources claim the new occupants of Bisie, officially one of the brigades of the 21st sector (recall the Rwandans are in FARDC uniform), might be looking to cut deals with new traders before the mining ban is lifted.  This coincides with the alleged visitation of Rwandans looking to set up joint cooperatives.  Keep an eye on Rwanda’s export numbers.  The FLEC also appears to have allied with the Hutu elements of PARECO.

It is also being said that the FLEC, under Bosco’s command, have allegedly been helping Rwanda’s DMI assassinate key ex-CNDP officers allied with Nkunda as well as CNDP moneymen allied with Nkunda.  These assassinations have occurred in Congo.  Some pro-Nkundists are now allegedly joining the FLEC’s ranks or alligning themselves with the pro-Bosco FARDC elements.  Officially, Bosco is supposed to be relieved of his position in the FARDC.  Pres. Kabila is apparently beginning to move the ex-CNDP out of North Kivu, as mentioned before, but don’t be surprised if the ones moved are the pro-Nkundists, not the pro-Bosco ex-CNDP soldiers.

All the above developments led to General Kabarebe to visit officials in Kinshasa last week.  In addition, there was a recent meeting of the Intelligence chiefs of Rwanda (Emmanuel Ndahiro [DMI]), DRC (Jean-Pierre Daruwezi [ANR]), and Burundi (Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana [SNR]) in Bujumbura to discuss how to coordinate intellegence between their respective countries better in order to combat the non-state armed actors.  The first step will be to appoint liason officers for each country.

In this whole picture, the surprising element is the attitude of the international community which leaves free reign of internationally re-known military and political leaders accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and acts of genocide, to operate without any condemnation. Bosco Ntaganda has an international warrant issued by ICC pending on his head. The UN report released on October 1st on crimes committed in Democratic Republic of Congo between 1993 and 2003 accuses incontestably Paul Kagame of crimes against humanity, war crimes and acts of genocide character against Hutu refugees and Hutu Congolese populations.

Wouldn’t it be true that MONUSCO currently in DRC as its predecessor MINUAR in Rwanda back in 1993/94 is working to protect interests of those external forces to the Great Lakes region exploiting its mineral resources, instead of peacekeeping? In that context, who would be the equivalent of General Dallaire in the case of MINUAR playing the card of destabilizing elements in Eastern Congo the same way the former facilitated the Rwandan Patriotic Front to pile up ammunitions in the country for its final control?

The timing of this reported incursion in Eastern Congo at the time of the US midterm elections reminds about the last official entry in DRC of Kagame’s soldiers on January 20th, 2009 on the day of the inauguration of Barack Obama. It looks as if Kagame’s military advisers count significantly on any possible reaction of US while intervening in DRC. They progress only when US administration is very politically preoccupied by internal affairs. Which means analysts should preempt his next military moves when there will be general elections in US in 2012, this of course if Paul Kagame is still around.

Rwandans striving for change more than ever

It is amazing what can come from adversity. It is not always the expected. The imprisonment of Victoire Ingabire, leader of FDU-Inkingi, a Rwandan political party opposed to the regime of Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, is so much galvanising Rwandans in the diaspora, all ethnic groups inclusively, that the latter will be himself surprised by the boomerang effect of his action.

The more the president of Rwanda demonstrates his unwillingness to more openness towards a democratic Rwandan society, the more there are people who are ready to show him that this shouldn’t be the case.

Friday 29/10/10 in front of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, a group of Rwandans and Ugandans displayed banners to the attention of the London public, which explained some of the persistent and current issues Rwanda experiences because of Paul Kagame’s dictatorial regime.

The objective of the demonstration was to request immediate release of Victoire Ingabire and other Rwandan political prisoners such as Deo Mushayidi, Charles Ntakirutinka and Me Bernard Ntaganda.

An open letter of which a copy is reproduced below and which was addressed to the Rt. Hon. William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, was delivered to his office after the demonstration. Many leaflets about Victoire Ingabire and her democratic fight in Rwanda were also distributed to the passing-by public.

An immediate and positive outcome of the demonstration was that participants decided to support actively the release of Victoire Ingabire by initiating different actions including a monthly public protest in London, this until she becomes free out of Kagame’s prison.

Knowing that the UK department for international development is the main British executive agency to distribute the country’s budget allocated to other nations, it was agreed that the next demonstration would be held at its location. Provisional date and time for the event are Friday 26/11/10 from 12.00 to 15.00. News that other participants from other places in UK and countries would like to join were welcome.

By imprisoning Victoire Ingabire, Paul Kagame may have wished to destroy Rwandans’ aspirations to democracy. Instead what is emerging from such injustice inflicted to a woman who has always only preached unity, reconciliation, freedom,  democracy, justice and good governance for her country, is an unstoppable determination from more and more Rwandans to get rid of a dictatorship responsible of millions of victims in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region, this as soon as possible.

Among Rwandans living in UK, I had sensed such determination only a few years back, when some of their members, had been arrested and imprisoned in London at the initiative of Paul Kagame’s government. The community stood up as one, fought back, and got them released. This time around, the Rwandan president is warned, they are going to get Victoire Ingabire released soon.

October 29th, 2010

Open Letter to The Rt. Hon. William Hague MP
Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Call for Immediate Release of Ms Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and other Rwandan political prisoners

Honorable,

On this day of October 29th, 2010, we citizens from the Great Lakes region, particularly from Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, living in the UK, and our British friends, are gathered in front of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, to call upon your government to use its influence on the Rwandan regime led by President Paul Kagame, for an immediate release of Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chairperson of FDU-Inkingi opposition party in Rwanda, with no more conditions and the release of all other Rwandan political prisoners.

 

Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was arrested and immediately incarcerated on October 14th. She has been detained in inhuman and humiliating conditions, handcuffed 24 hours, and denied any sleeping item. The longer she stays under the mercy of Paul Kagame’s prison guards, the more we become very concerned that she may be treated and incapacitated like the former Head of State, Mr. Pasteur Bizimungu.

The alleged crimes for Victoire Ingabire’s imprisonment are seemingly politically motivated charges of forming a terrorist organization (Coalition of Democratic Forces as an alleged military wing of FDU-Inkingi). She denies the accusations and has pleaded not guilty explaining that she was only being imprisoned for being a persistent critic of Paul Kagame’s government.

 

We are convinced that your urgent intervention will help defuse the current political crisis in the country and help achieve sustainable peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Contrary to the official line in Kigali, political, social and economic policies of post Rwandan genocide have divided the country along ethnic lines as never before.

Honorable,

As you may be aware, genuine opposition political parties that have challenged the Rwandan Patriotic Front Led Rwandan Government have undergone serious and dangerous trials. It was blocked from participating in the recently concluded Presidential elections, which the incumbent run with stooge candidates and later awarded himself 93%.

The Government refused to register opposition parties to participate. Their leaders were either killed or imprisoned. Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, Vice President of the Green Democratic Party, was assassinated and found decapitated on 14th July 2010, till now his killers have not faced justice and there are no signs of on-going investigations despite the fact that the UN Secretary General, EU, France and Canada called for investigations.

The United Democratic Forces-FDU Inkingi and many of its members have been imprisoned or released on bail. In April 2010 the party leader, Ms. Victoire Victoire Umuhoza, was bailed out of jail and kept since then under extended house arrest. She had never been given a chance to defend herself in a court of law.

The Founding President of The Social Party Imberakuri, Maître Bernard Ntaganda is in prison since 24th June 2010. He is in critical health conditions and has been admitted at King Faycal Hospital for treatment. He is reported to be losing sight and to be paralyzed due to ill-treatment in the Kigali Maximum Prison known as “1930”.

The vicious cycle of political violence in Rwanda has been due to a lack of a system for a peaceful competition for and transfers of power between the political elites. Your government can help Rwandans take a commitment to make sure that it does not happen again. Justice is needed for the country to achieve genuine reconciliation and sustainable development. To have sustainable peace in Rwanda, there is a strong need of creating political space that enables a peaceful process of transfer and competition for power. We call for a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and a Rwandan National Dialogue.

Many ordinary people are fleeing their country at a time when prominent members of the political elite are fleeing for their lives. We fear therefore that the present management of the political system has the potential to lead to another cycle of violence. This must be stopped immediately; UK government and other nations in the international community can prevent this. It should not be like the 1994 Genocide, which was a result of extreme ethnic radicalization as Rwanda is now heading to.

We request you to impress upon the President of Rwanda to immediately release all political prisoners: Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Maître Bernard Ntaganda, Mr. Deo Mushayidi, Mr. Charles Ntakirutinka, Ms. Seraphine Mukamana, Mr. Andrew Muganwa plus many others and also allow political parties that are critical of the regime (the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and FDU-Inkingi) to register and exercise their full political rights and let the legally recognized leader of Social Party Imberakuri, Maître Bernard Ntaganda, manage his party without Government interference.

 

 

On behalf of participants
Ambrose Nzeyimana
Public Event Organiser
Organising for Africa

A difficult, predictable, but somehow necessary path to Rwandan democracy

History is often an eternal repetition of the human experience. During the events leading to the 60s in Rwanda, there is a contextual significant anecdotal story referring to the social unrest which prevailed at the time, and which was caused by the oppression suffered from the Tutsi aristocracy by the Hutu population.

Joseph Gitera, a Hutu political leader from that period, who apparently was as vocal as Victoire Ingabire could be about the concerns of Hutus under the regime of Paul Kagame, was considered by the ruling Tutsi as the most representative voice of the then oppressed citizens.

The then Tutsi King, Mutara Rudahigwa, after lengthy consultations with his closest advisers on the political situation concerning a variety of pressing demands from the Hutu population as presented by Joseph Gitera and other Hutu leaders, said that killing the Hutu politician would not solve the problems, but instead finding the root causes of the population’s demands and addressing them would do.

Umuvugizi Newspaper was banned for six months in order to let it not cover objectively, among other Rwandan issues, the rigged elections of August 9th, 2010. After the elections, the ban was lifted. But the newspaper, which had seen one of its journalists, Jean Leonard Rugambage assassinated on June 24th, told the Rwanda Media High Council, that it would only return to operate from Rwanda, once the issues it raised and got it banned will have been addressed by Paul Kagame’s regime.

On January 9th, 2010, in Brussels, while replying to a question from a supporter about her security once in Rwanda, Victoire Ingabire said, ‘I don’t have any army to protect me. I have confidence in the security of the Rwandan government to protect its citizens. But I am also conscious that they may imprison me or kill me. What I demand from those left behind is to continue from where I will have fallen.’

She has been continuously harassed, intimidated starting straight from the day of her arrival in Kigali, on January 17th, 2010. In April, she was arrested, imprisoned and then released on bail. Since then she was under house arrest, with restricted freedom of movement. Silvain Sibomana, Secretary General of FDU-Inkingi provides in the following lines a detailed account of Victoire Ingabire‘s situation from October 8th, 2010 onwards.

08th October – 04:00 pm – Police siege starts. Until the arrest on 14th October, Victoire Ingabire remained indoors.

09th October Victoire asked the police spokesperson what was going on and she was told there was nothing to worry about.

11th October – Victoire reached the Prosecutor Ruberwa on phone and asked whether the bail conditions had changed because of the police siege. The prosecutor seemed to be surprised and promised to ask the Criminal Investigation Department.

14th October – 12:50 pm – A police team entered the property, put Madame Victoire Ingabire under arrest, and took her to CID headquarters. The police spokesperson informed the public that she is arrested because of new evidence implicating her in the formation of a terrorist organization and that a key witness was arrested the day before along the DRC common border with documents and details implicating her.

14th October – In the evening, she is transferred to Kicukiro police detention facility.

14th October – In the evening, FDU-Inkingi team brought her a mattress, clothes, blanket and hygienic items. The food was taken to the detention center as well. All the items are given to the guards and never to the detainee.

15th October Two lawyers visited her, and noticed she was still in handcuffs since the arrest. She slept in a seated position on the floor, and no personal item was provided. She did not eat. The lead lawyer discussed the detention conditions with the security officers and was told that they did not make decision. He rushed to the CID headquarters and left with no assurance that the situation will improve.

16th October – The jailers decided to give only the blanket. She is still in handcuffs. No mattress, no clothes, no hygienic stuff. The lawyer discussed the situation with the hierarchy. In the evening, the handcuffs were removed for the night.  All the food provided is returned untouched. No member of the party or nobody from her house is allowed to see her, or to talk to her. There is a total blackout on her status. At this stage there was no doubt, she was not eating. We did not know whether she was given food or if she was unable to eat because of 24-hour handcuffs.

18th October – She is taken to Gasabo Court House for the Prosecutor’s interrogation. She is in the same outfit she had the time of her arrest. Her hair is undone; she is in handcuffs and looks weak.

18th October – Late night, a Medical Doctor is rushed to her cell. The blood pressure has dropped dangerously, and some medication is given. The Police accepted this time to give the mattress and hygienic items.

19th October – The lawyer asked in a letter to the Police Commissioner to allow the client to go to hospital or to be seen by an independent Doctor.

18th – 21st October – She is subjected to Prosecutor’s interrogations at the Gasabo Court House. She is always brought in handcuffs. She is looking weak, exhausted and under duress.

21st October: Morning hours, the police rushed in again some medical staff and some medication is given again before the afternoon Prosecutor’s confrontation exercise with the state-prepared key witness Major Vital Uwumuremyi. During the confrontation, the key witness claimed that he was given in 2008 – 2009 at least 1,000 USD to create, train a rebel group and to purchase weapons. He informed that since his repatriation in Rwanda in February 2009, he has never been involved in any other rebel activity. This gives an impression that the terrorist allegations are over 2 years old and that police statements in this respect are not accurate, for a reason.

22nd October – She is again seen by police medical doctor. Until now, people from our political party are not allowed to see her. A bail hearing is supposed to happen on the 25th October at the Gasabo Court House.

26th October – The bail was refused.

It is unfortunate that political leaders, and among them African dictators particularly, don’t learn from the past. The more you oppress people, the more voices from the oppressed you radicalize against you. After the recent imprisonment of Victoire Ingabire, young Rwandans in Kigali announced that they wanted to go on a hunger strike to show to the world the level of injustice the imprisoned politician and those that she represents suffered under Paul Kagame’s regime. These are pacifist people who are ready to give up their lives for a cause they believe to be just, but without jeopardizing anybody else’s life. And unfortunately, radicals are not always pacifists. If I had to deal with any I would rather deal with a Victoire Ingabire rather than a Paul Kagame type. Only of course if I value human life.