In recent weeks, we have witnessed a worrying upsurge of a campaign of demonization and isolation of our president and political prisoner, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire, who is serving a prison sentence of 15 years unfairly imposed on her. The judgment pronounced on 24thNovember 2017 by the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights in Case No. 003/2014 Victoire Ingabire against the Republic of Rwanda has established that her rights have been violated.
Indeed, Ms. Ingabire Victoire has become the target of insidious bullying by your staff, whenever there are problems in jail between prisoners, or between prisoners and prison staff. Therefore, she has become the scapegoat whenever there is the slightest incident. At the same time, the prison staff is carrying out an isolation campaign against her. Prisoners suspected rightly or wrongly of being close to Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza are systematically transferred to other detention Centers, and secret messages are given to female prisoners asking them to avoid any contact with her. These messages also contain threats of disciplinary action against those who would not comply with the instructions given. This is intended to leave her in total isolation. The FDU-Inkingi had already denounced these violations in our press release of January 14, 2018.
We therefore request that this campaign cease and that everyone assume their responsibilities without having to make our Party President a scapegoat for any shortcoming in the prison. We cannot talk about the rule of law when a category of the population is treated as enemies of the country, for the simple reason of wanting to exercise their political rights.
We take this opportunity to also draw your attention to the case of Miss Leonille Gasengayire, also held in your institution, who has been waiting for a while for a transfer to the hospital. Since we denounced the violations of her rights on March 9, 2018, her situation has not received the urgency it deserves, and no medical assistance has been provided so far. Being deprived of liberty does not mean being deprived of rights.
We therefore call on the sponsors of General Kagame’s regime, and more particularly the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, the USA and the EU, to put pressure in order to ensure that the rights of our President Ingabire Umuhoza and our colleague Ms. Leonille Gasengayire are given to them.
Done in London on March 21, 2018
FDU-Inkingi Commissioner for External Relations and spokesperson.