Rwanda: Opposition leader conviction extinguishes some hope of political freedom and put Rwanda on a dangerous path.

Global Campaign for the Rwandan Rights condemns the decision by the Supreme Court of to sentence the opposition leader Ms Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, 15 years imprisonments.

Ms Victoire Ingabire was convicted with “conspiracy against the government by terrorism and war”, “minimizing the genocide” in Rwanda in 1994, and “spreading rumors in the intent to incite the public to violence.”

Victoire Ingabire trial and subsequent appeal processes have been found by various experts, independent observers and human rights organisations to have been seriously flawed and international standards were totally flouted.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of the Rwandan political party of the opposition FDU-Inkingi, who was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment by Kigali High Court on Tuesday October 30, 2012.
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of the Rwandan political party of the opposition FDU-Inkingi

Considering accusations against her, various identified irregularities and ignorance of due process, it has been clear that Rwandan justice system has been used by the Rwandan government as a tool to oppress legitimate and peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of association.

”Freedom of expression and associations are important base and foundations of a democracy. Their absences undermine one of important fundamental rights of people. This situation not only has the potentiality to cause insecurity and conflicts, in Rwanda as result of consequences of oppression, it also affects the country ability to achieve its various social and economic potentialities as result of participation of its people in environment of freedom and rule of law” Said GCRHR coordinator

We urge the Rwandan government to release without delay Victoire Ingabire and other political prisoners and undertake important process of democratisation that would ensure the implementations of all democratic principles that Rwandans people desperately desire and deserve.