The FDU-Inkingi has learnt with serious concern, that political rights activist, Gasengayire Leonille who was arrested in September 2017, has been denied medical care by prison authorities in Rwanda. Ms Gasengayire, who is assistant treasurer of opposition political party FDU-Inkingi was arrest together with 8 FDU-Inkingi members including the 1st Vice President Boniface Twagirimana as a part of the Rwandan regime in its strategy to stamp out real opposition to the Rwandan repressive policies.
Ms Gasengayire, is the Unsung young hero in the fight democratic change in Rwanda in jailed for the fourth time since 2012, for refusing for to give up her political right to freedom and assembly. We are seriously concerned the denial of medical care could be part of the strategy to bring her to her knees and to deter the rest of the youth from following her example.
She was jailed in 2012 and sentenced to two years imprisonment for being in a group that criticised government education policy and the healthy system. Her crime was that she did not report “an offence being committed”. She was released in 2014 and resumed her secondary school education.
She was arrested again and kept incommunicado for 3 days (26-29) March 2016. During her disappearance she was interrogated, beaten up during the interrogation and asked to give up political activities before being released. She was arrested once more on August 23, 2016 while on a visit to her family in Kivumu- Rutsiro, western province, under article 463 of the penal code against people. She was falsely accused of inciting people against the government and encouraging residents of her home area to resist being evicted from their homes and land without proper compensation. She was released in March 2017 after she had interrupted her academic year 2017/2018. She is again in prison for indeterminate time with no hope of resuming her university education.
FDU-Inkingi calls on the Rwandan authorities to respect the international minimum standards for the Treatment of Prisoners as adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977.
We appeal to all peace-loving governments, especially the Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, the USA and the EU, whose financial support to the repressive Rwandan regime is tied to the respect of human rights, to ask the Rwandan authorities to respect the right of Ms Gasengayire Leonille to medical care.
Done in London, on February 26, 2018.
FDU-Inkingi Commissioner for External Relations and spokesperson.