In an note released this Sunday 26/08/12 and intended to the general public, Boniface Twagirimana, one of the top members of the unregistered Rwandan political party FDU-Inkingi of imprisoned Ms Victoire Ingabire, indicates that his colleague official of the same party, Silvain Sibomana, has been severely injured the night before by Rwandan Local Defence Forces [LDF], when he went to the rescue of a neighbour, Dominique Shyirambere, from another political party of the opposition, PS-Imberakuri.
Dominique Shyirambere, who that night had been besieged in his house from 10.00 pm by LDF individuals , was initially asked to open the door and let that group of people in, but refused. They decided then to spend the whole night outside waiting for him.
It is important here to highlight that Shyirambere had been previously arrested on 27/07/10 because of being a leader from an opposition party and having participated in an illegal protest. Having at several occasions suffered torture from his jailers, he was released a year later without any charge or compensation.
With regard the current incident, when the police was called and found that it was members of the political opposition being victimised, instead of asking to LDF members why they were beating Silvain Sibomana, they took the latter who was injured to the police station of Remera. [This has become a general pattern of Kagame’s security forces of adding misery to victims of his oppressive system].
The same note explains that once Alice Muhirwa, FDU-Inkingi treasurer, and Gratien Nsabiyaremye, responsible of youth, heard of the attack on and incarceration of their colleague, they went straight to the police station of Remera, for at least to get him looked after by a health specialist. Instead, they were also themselves taken into custody.
By the time we finished writing this article, the source updated the public explaining that all the incarcerated people had been released by the police. This was a fortunate development for the injured particularly, as they could be taken to a doctor.
As a reminder, the two FDU-Inkingi officials Silvain Sibomana and Alice Muhirwa were also arrested and beaten up by the Rwandan police on Thursday 24/6/10 while attending a peaceful demonstration to denounce the government refusal to let their party exercise its constitutional rights.
They were among hundreds of protesters who were rounded up and taken into private prisons. At the time, Alice Muhirwa, having seriously been beaten and consequently suffered internal bleeding, because of lack of medical care, several days later, fainted in front of the judges while standing her trial related to her participation in the protest.
This ongoing practice of intense intimidation and violent harassment of Rwandans inside the country is not aimed only at the political opposition, which is officially absent. These last weeks we have been receiving many accounts of young people being rounded up in the hundreds across Rwanda [apparently to seek forced recruits for M23, say informed sources]. Other people are knifed or injured by machetes to increase fear in regions where the regime suspects possibilities of popular uprising, like Gitarama].
And all this attitude of Paul Kagame regime towards its citizens comes as a reaction to an increased isolation of his government consequent to his involvement with the Congolese rebel movement M23. As this erratic behaviour persists from the Rwandan leader, the international community needs to monitor closely the excesses of oppression towards the Rwandan population which is becoming more and more victim of his political frustrations.