On October 24th, 2015 in Brussels, when supporters of the Rwandan prisoner of conscience Victoire Ingabire gathered to remember her five years of imprisonment, some couldn’t find seats in the hall of the event. They were hundreds and hundreds of them.
They came from different parts of the world, all having been touched and inspired by the life so far of this exceptional and courageous woman. Some have been calling her the African Aung San Suu Kyi, and others the female Mandela.
Two elements allow to make some references of similarities of struggle between her and these two legends: 1) her non-violent approach to democratic change in her country – Rwanda; 2) the level of human rights abuse by the regime of president Paul Kagame, which in many respects, has killed more people than Burman military rulers or South African white leaders from the apartheid era.
Against all expectations, having been imprisoned since October 14th, 2010, in the five years she has been incarcerated, she has managed to have her prison’s notes published last year. She must be the first Rwandan, if not the first African, woman political prisoner to have achieved that.
For those who have managed to get hold of a copy of her notes, they constitute a blant evidence of all injustices she has been victim of in the hands of the regime of Kagame. They are equally a cry for help for herself and the millions of Rwandans who are held in the prison called RWANDA.
Trying to respond to her call for help, and in its efforts of campaigning for the release of all Rwandan political prisoners including her, Friends of Victoire is organising an ONLINE panel discussion with the participation of eminent scholars, writers, politicians and activists. The focus will be on 5 Years of imprisonment of Victoire Ingabire and her book “Entre les 4 murs du 1930.”
That will be on Sunday 31/01/16 at 16:00 GMT. On that day (or night, depending on the time in the country you live in), Friends of Victoire is inviting anyone anywhere on the planet and caring for justice and human rights, to go online on the website of the organisation at www.friendsofvictoire.org.
In addition to raising awareness, the event will also be an opportunity to fundraise for the English translation of Victoire Ingabire’s book, which was initially published in French. Contacts in Spain confirmed recently that the Spanish translation of the document was well advanced. It would be greatly appreciated if supporters of the Rwandan political prisoner’s cause could get the book translated in other languages.
On the day of the ONLINE debate, people are invited to come together, wherever they will be, in order to follow the discussion. If they can post live their comments, images and other relevant material on the social media platforms of Friends of Victoire, particularly facebook and twitter at @FriendsVictoire, this is important for the campaign. They can also email to firstname.lastname@example.org.