Kigali 25 March 2013
Since this morning, the police and other security forces are screening all paths to the supreme court in order to deter opposition members going to pledge support to the political prisoner Madame Victoire Ingabire as her hearing opens today. Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim secretary general and other members have been beaten before their arrest.
This alarming development is poisoning the atmosphere of this kangaroo process. The political trial of the pro-democracy leader Victoire Ingabire in the first instance, was flawed and arranged.
“Amnesty International has documented allegations of torture and ill-treatment of individuals in Camp Kami. The fact that at least two men tried alongside Victoire Ingabire were detained there for months before incriminating her is cause for serious concern and needs to be looked into.”
“The judges appeared confrontational towards the defence and the defendant was regularly interrupted or reprimanded by the judges. Evidence put forward by the defence and the prosecution was treated differently: the defence’s evidence was repeatedly called into question, whereas basic questions in relation to the prosecution’s evidence were not asked”, said today Amnesty International in the publication “Justice in jeopardy:the first instance trial of Victoire Ingabire”.
We call upon the government of Paul Kagame to release those arrested in today swoop, and ensure that police officers and their hierarchy are held accountable for their actions.
Interim Vice President.