The FDU-inkingi would like to make an appeal to all peace-loving people, institutions and governments to rein on the government of President Kagame to release its members detained on trumped up charges. We call for the respect of the minimum standards for the treatment of detainees particularly regarding access to their families and to food. So far families have not been able to see their loved ones and to bring them food. They are handcuffed 24 hours.
On the 6th September 2017, the Rwandan police unleashed terror on members of FDU-Inkingi, arresting its members including a lady who is volunteer and helping with party accounts, a driver, a gate keeper and a domestic employee, allegedly for sensitizing the youth to join an armed group based in an unnamed neighbouring country, a charge brought against any political dissident who is arrested.
A lawyer has now been able to see them all except Mr. Theophile Ntirutwa. We have strong fears that they could have tortured so badly that security agents did not want him to be seen in that state. He was kidnapped in September 2016 and kept incommunicado for three while he was being tortured.
We also concerned about the health of the President of the party Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza for she has not received food recommended by her medical doctor because those who take food to her, namely Leonille Gasengayire and Boniface Twagirimana are in detention for the last five days. A person who volunteered to take her food was refused access to her. We strongly suspect that the prison authorities want to force her to eat inappropriate food prepared by their own people and we therefore fear for her health and safety.
With regard to the swoop on FDU-Inkingi members, the three employees, the 1st Vice President of FDU-Inkingi Mr Twagirimana Boniface, Mr. Fabien Twagirayezu, and Leonille Gasengayire, were picked from the Party’s Head office in Kigali. Other members namely Mr. Gratien Nsabiyaremye was unceremoniously marched out of the classroom in Rutsiro Western Rwanda while he is giving a lesson, in full view of students and Evode Mbarushimana was picked from home while he was busy trying to get transport to take his wife to hospital as she had started labour. The wife fell unconscious when she saw the police arresting her husband. She was rushed to hospital where the husband left her and went with the police. Theophile Ntirutwa was picked from the street.
Even those allowed to see a lawyer, have been refused access to their families and for their loved ones and to bring them food since they were held five days ago.
We would like to recall another FDU-Inkingi party member, Jean Damascene Habarugira was called to meet an intelligence officer on Friday 5, May 2017 only to find his body with the neck severed on Monday May 8, 2016. The Secretary General of the Party Sylvain Sibomana, and Anselme Mutuyimana ordinary member are languishing in prison. Mrs. Iragena Immaculee was kidnapped on her way to work on the March 26, 2016 and is feared dead due to torture.
The FDU-Inkingi President, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is serving a 15-year sentence, reached in politically motivated trial which was condemned by many including the European Parliament, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
The FDU-Inking would to appeal to the Rwandan government to end its terror towards members of FDU-Inkingi and to treat those in its custody in accordance with international standards and Rwandans relating to the treatment of detainees. It requests that Theophile Ntirutwa be visited by a lawyer and be seen by members of his family.
The FDU-Inkingi request the Rwandan government to authorize, without any further delay, the person agreed by the Party to take food to the President of FDU-Inkingi, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.
We request the international community to do everything in its power to put pressure on the Rwandan government to stop its persecution and all forms of inhuman and degrading treatment of its members.
Done in London September 11, 2017
Commissioner for External Relations and spokesperson