The Rwandan political platform, P5 welcomes the release of political prisoner Mrs Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza, President of FDU-Inkingi this Friday Sept 14, 2014. We also welcome the release of Mr Kizito Mihigo at the same time with 2138 other prisoners. Even though long overdue, this is good news for us all Rwandans, the world, and most importantly the families of the released.
We call at the same time, for the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Deo Mushayidi, Mrs. Diane Rwigara, Théoneste Niyitegeka and others.
It is important to note that, Ingabire V. Umuhoza is not a criminal but a political prisoner who should integrate in society and enjoy her full political and civil rights without any conditions attached to her release.
It is our very considered view that, like in all dictatorships, the release is a political ploy to ease diplomatic and economic pressure and score a political point. It is quite ironic that while President Kagame is giving clemency to people who have done nothing wrong, unlawful detention of many more political prisoners, arbitrary arrests and extra judicial killings are still going unabated.
The key issue is for President Kagame is to scrap the laws that have made Rwanda a de facto one-party state and put citizens at risk of being arrested for expressing their views and voicing an opinion critical of government. The government should adopt laws that create room for critical voices to speak freely and peacefully. It is the political space and atmosphere that need to change in Rwanda, and not a political calculation done to blind the international community.
Brussels, September 16, 2018
Chairman of P5