October 14, 2016, marks the 6th anniversary of the politically motivated arrest and detention of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in the notorious 1930 prison in Kigali. Her arrival in Rwanda in January 2010 to take part in the presidential elections of August 2010 sent shockwaves in the political circles of the Ruling Party of RPF. The warm welcome and her first words about equitable justice, genuine national reconciliation and her courageous stand against oppressive practices threatened the status quo.
After a flawed trial, condemned among others by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Foundation Jean Jaures, she was sentenced in first instance to 8 years in prison. On appeal, the sentence was increased to 15 years. Yet, the Supreme Court had invalidated some of the evidence used to convict her in the first place.
Having lost all confidence in the justice system of her country led by an authoritarian regime, she filed an application with the African Court of Human Rights and Peoples based in Arusha, Tanzania. The Rwandan Government withdrew its declaration allowing individuals to file complaints directly with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, only 3 days before judges were to hear her case.
Pursuant to its resolution 2013/2641 (RSP) of 25 may 2013, the European approved a new resolution (2016/2910(RSP)) on Rwanda, case of Victoire Ingabire on 06.10.2016 in which it strongly demands an impartial review of Victoire Ingabire’s case. Victoire Ingabire has been declared a political prisoner by the EU Parliament and Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch consider her trial as politically motivated. It is a very considered view of our party FDU-Inkingi, that justice delayed is justice denied.
We therefore call on the international community to put pressure on the Rwandan government to release our leader without further delay or preconditions.
Done in London October 14, 2016
Commissioner for External Relations and Spokesperson