Rwanda : Sharp deterioration of prison conditions of Ms. Victoire Ingabire – Open letter

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Mr Boniface Twagilimana

Open letter

General Commissioner for Rwanda Correctional Service

Kigali

Dear Commissioner,

 

Subject:

Sharp deterioration of prison conditions of Ms. Victoire Ingabire

 

Since Friday, July 10, 2015, the management of the central prison in Kigali decided to severely tighten the prison regime of Madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chair of FDU Inkingi, without any explanation. Today 14th July 2015 the prison management proceeded on closing every place that can allow light into her cell.

Last Friday, the prison management refused her lawyer Gatera the authorization to meet her for consultation, on the grounds that he had nothing more to do at the prison since his client has already been sentenced. However it is public knowledge that Mrs Victoire Ingabire has lodged an appeal to the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights[1], which has yet to fix a hearing date. In this regard it does not make any sense to refuse the lawyer access to his client Mrs.  Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. 

 

The management of the prison at the same time, confiscated all her books, including the Church hymns book. It must be noted that she had obtained them with the authorisation of the prison management.

The guards prevented Mrs. Victoire Ingabire from talking to the party cadres who bring her food, threatening to punish her if she did talk to them. It is quite evident that for someone already detained in solitary confinement these measures amount to mental torture in violation of the international convention against torture[2] to which Rwanda is a contracting party.

Since Saturday, July 11, 2015, Mrs. Ingabire sought an audience with the management of the prison to find out the reasons behind these draconian measures taken against her. The manager flatly refused to talk to her.

FDU Inkingi takes the opportunity to remind prison management that even prisoners are entitled to a minimum of rights[3]. In witness whereof FDU-Inking calls on the prison management to lift those measures or at the very least provide an explanation for those measures.

 

Kigali July 14, 2015

For FDU INKINGI

Boniface Twagirimana

1er Vice-President

 

Copy:

  • Hon Minister of Justice
  • Ombudsman
  • Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Prosecutor General
  • Embassies  (all)
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