Justin Bahunga, Commissioner for External Relations and spokesperson-FDU-Inkingi


Mr Sibomana Sylvain and his colleague Mutuyimana Anselme have appeared
today December 4, 2017 in court to appeal against the common political
charge of encouraging insurrection levelled against critics of the RPF
regime. The hearing is taking place when the regime is doing everything
possible, including repression and deceit, to uproot le FDU-Inkingi from
the Rwanda political landscape. But it also happens at a time when the
African Court for Human and People’s rights has ruled in the case of the
President of FDU-Inkingi, Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, that article
463 (Organic Law 01/2012/OL, that is used to criminalise free speech,
like in her case and the case of Sibomana and Mutuyimana, violates the
Universal declaration of human rights, the African charter on human and
peoples’ rights and the international convention on political and civil

We challenge the Rwandan President of Rwanda to show that his is worthy
of leading the African Union by respecting the decision of its court on
matters of free speech. We also challenge the judges of the Supreme
Court to follow the example of the African Court and go down in history
as independent from the grip of the ruling party by ordering the
immediate release of Mr Sibomana Sylvain and Mutuyimana Anselme.

In September 2012, Mr. Sibomana, Secretary General of the FDU-Inkingi
was arrested in a pub in Karongi, while he was making a critical
analysis of the government’s education policy with colleagues. He was
charged with “spreading rumours intended to incite insurrection or
trouble amongst the population” (Organic Law 01/2012/OL, article 463).
The High Court in Karongi sentenced him, and Mr. Anselme Mutuyimana, a
fellow political activist, to six years’ imprisonment. The colleagues in
the pub who were sitting with Mr. Sibomana, were charged for “concealing
an offense or failing to inform security organs of a felony that is
being committed” (Organic Law 01/2012/OL, article 570, and sentenced to
two years’ imprisonment. On the 22nd November 2013, Sylvain Sibomana was
sentenced for another two years for illegal demonstration because he was
found wearing a badge with the photo of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza,
President of FDU-Inkingi and wearing a T-shirt with a word “democracy”
on it. Sibomana appealed against the sentence and has been waiting for a
hearing the last four year for his appeal to be heard. We believe that
this was a deliberate decision move to keep him out of political

We would like to recall the FDU-Inkingi has written several press
releases and a letter to the Rwandan Minister of Justice complaining
about torture, inhuman and degrading treatment that the two members of
FDU-Inkingi have undergone since they were arrested, in total disregard
of the national and international laws against torture and ill
treatment. We urge the Rwandan government to release Sibomana Sylvain
and Mutuyimana Anselme who have been languishing in prison, subjected to
torture and ill treatment, for several years in total disregard of
national and international laws.

Done in London December 4, 2017
Justin Bahunga
Commissioner for external relations and spokesperson
Contacts: [email protected] Phone: +44-7988-883-576