“We must end this silence.”: Diane Rwigara

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In this photo taken Sunday, May 14, 2017, women’s rights activist and presidential candidate Diane Shima Rwigara, 35, is photographed next to a portrait of her father, business tycoon Assinapol Rwigara, at her home in Kigali, Rwanda. In Rwanda, where many fear to speak up against the ruling party, Rwigara is running for president against one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. As slim as her chances at defeating President Paul Kagame in the August election may be, Rwigara has intrigued Rwandans by speaking openly in a country known for its devastating 1994 genocide and recovery. (Associated Press)

“Do you think practicing politics is easy in these countries?” Rwigara asked, laughing, during an interview with The Associated Press. She said those behind the photographs want to “kill” her politically as she works to expose abuses she blames on the government. “But the issue has made me more resilient.”

“People disappear, others get killed in unexplained circumstances and nobody speaks about this because of fear,” she said. “We must end this silence.”

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