June 24th, 2012: Second anniversary of first ever political protest against Paul Kagame

“I cannot believe that this is happening under Paul Kagame’s rule,’ explained strongly surprised a person I was discussing with at the time. He had managed to flee the country two years earlier.

Indeed it did happen. On June 24th, 2010 a political protest was staged inKigali but brutally crushed by the ruling party Rwandan Patriotic Front. 

In September of that year I wrote a note about that day of June describing how the Rwandan security forces had beaten up, harassed, and tortured political opponents from FDU-Inkingi, Green Party, and PS-Imberakuri, because of their attempts of voicing on the street their grievances against the Electoral Commission.

The Commission had refused to register their candidates for the forthcoming presidential elections to be held on August 9th, 2010. Obviously, the department of home affairs, part of the same RPF system, had not allowed the registration of two of the parties mentioned here.

On June 29, 2012 Victoire Ingabire, Chairperson of FDU-Inkingi, who is imprisoned since October 14th, 2010, will be sentenced for politically fabricated crimes aimed at keeping her away from challenging Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president.

Other political leaders, including Deo Mushayidi of PDP-Imanzi, Bernard Ntaganda of PS-Imberakuri, are already doing their prison time for almost similar charges.

In addition, tens of thousands of citizens are as well languishing in Kagame’s prisons or forced into doing community work unduly mainly because they are from the wrong tribe.

Given the context Rwanda has become, the questions that every citizen concerned by their country’s future should ask themselves are these:

Am I doing something to get rid of all malpractices and injustices that Paul Kagame and his RPF have imposed to my country? Or is my suffering more bearable than that of Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans, or Senegalese?

And I am certain they would be surprised by how little they have to accomplish to contribute to the needed difference. Of course they must get out of their comfort zone of indifference and fear. Haven’t their political leaders in prison shown the first step?

Victoire Ingabire, Chairperson of FDU-Inkingi said

“He [Paul Kagame] cannot imprison the whole country.”

And Deo Mushayidi, Chairperson of PDP-Imanzi said

“…if you love me, then support the cause that I have defended and that I will defend as long as I am alive, namely freedom…”


One response to “June 24th, 2012: Second anniversary of first ever political protest against Paul Kagame

  1. Pingback: June 24th, 2012: Second anniversary of first ever political protest against Paul Kagame | Rwanda Human Rights and Democracy

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