Rwanda blocks legal counsel to political prisoner Victoire Ingabire with Kafkaesque bureaucracy

On May 19, 2016, the Rwandan government ordered Dutch lawyer Caroline Buisman to leave Rwanda immediately, without even meeting her new client, political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Buisman had arrived in the country’s capital Kigali on May 14, 2016, to consult with Ingabire regarding the appeal of her conviction for terrorism, inciting popular revolt and minimizing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

The appeal is now before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania, which is independent of the Rwandan government and judiciary. Though the government prevented Buisman from obtaining a visa and meeting with her client before a March 4, 2016, court hearing, it finally granted a visa that allowed her to enter the country on May 14.

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