Rwanda national police informed the public on February 17, 2020 that the detained singer KIZITO MIHIGO has hung himself while in police custody a little before 05:00AM.

On my own behalf, and on behalf of all members of our political organization, we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the late Kizito Mihigo, as well as to the Rwandan people who have grasped the depth of the legacy left by this talented artist. We admire his exceptional dedication, his outstanding resilience and his very high sense of a nation with a reconciled people. Himself being a survivor of the genocide against the Tutsi, challenging the official narrative, he called for compassion for all victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes without any ethnic discrimination.

We have serious doubts about the contradictory statements by the Rwandan police on the circumstances of the death of the deceased. Indeed a tweet which was very quickly erased was posted the day before in the evening alleging that Kizito Mihigo would have been shot dead while he was trying to disarm one of the cells’ guards. This scenario is often mentioned when certain prisoners are executed by gunfire within the police premises during police custody. For example, the late Emmanuel GASAKURE, one of President Kagame’s medical physician, who fell into disgrace and was handed over to the police on fabricated charges, was shot dead during his detention in the same REMERA infamous police station.

Indeed, the police account claims that a security agent went alone to check the condition of the prisoners and would have found that the late had died a few moments before. Then he alerted the guards who would have let him go around without witnesses. On the basis of his observation, the whole police system declared that the death had taken place a little before 5:00 AM without waiting for the post mortem results. The same day a police spokeswoman said that a few days before these developments, the late was showing signs of great depression, such as preferring solitude to the company of other people. All of this suggests that the system was prepared for this eventuality as the police did not even wait for any medical expertise. The semblance of a police investigation mentioned is only limited to the sole act of establishing the reasons that led him to suicide.

We urge the leaders of the member countries of the Commonwealth to demand, before their summit due in Kigali 21-26 June 2020, accountability for murders of members of the opposition, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by members of the RPF during the wars in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of these crimes according to the 2010 DRC mapping report are qualified as war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible acts of genocide committed against members of the Hutu ethnic group.

The International community in general, and members of the Commonwealth in particular should now understand this widespread demand for accountability and therefore take all the measures necessary to guarantee both the independence and impartiality of the murder investigation. 

Done in Brussels, February 21, 2020

Ishakwe Rwanda Freedom Movement

Sixbert Musangamfura

Secretary General