By The Rwandan Lawyer
In detention for almost two months, the youtuber Karasira Aimable, former professor of the University of Rwanda dismissed for his opinions against the Kigali regime was sentenced to thirty days of provisional detention for a series of charges brought against him by the Rwandan public prosecution. Throughout the present lines, we are going to analyze the stage where this political trial examined.
On his YouTube channel with 62,000 subscribers, Aimable Karasira has been criticizing the Rwandan government for months and making very controversial comments. He regularly speaks about the genocide of the Tutsis and the crimes committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, now in power.
In his last video published on May 20, he compared Paul Kagame’s Rwanda to North Korea. He presents himself as a genocide survivor and accuses RPF soldiers of having killed his parents.
“Aimable Karasira makes regular comments on the genocide of Tutsis, saying that it was not planned,” said the prosecution before the criminal judge. He is also responsible for illicit enrichment after the investigators have detected large sums on his bank account, on his smartphone mobile money account and at his residence.
Last February, Yvonne Idamange, a YouTuber who criticized the measures taken by the government against the coronavirus and who wrongly assured that President Paul Kagame was dead had also been arrested.
As more Rwandans use social media to express themselves, at least six journalists or internet commentators have been detained, arrested or prosecuted in the past two years.
- A purely political trial
The fact for Karasira to denounce the crimes committed by the RPF on the media is a sacrilege punishable by capital punishment because this media coverage discredits this party and tarnishes its image with regard to the population of which it began to gain in large numbers and on international level where it had managed to muzzle the prosecutors of the international tribunal for Rwanda. We remember with sad memories the intrigues of Rwanda in front of Carla Del Ponte who had started to investigate the files of the officers of the RPA who soaked up in the war crimes and which entailed her exclusion from this tribunal where she was replaced by Abu Bakr Djallow already acquired to the Rwandan position. This is how the Rwandan war criminals were spared from international prosecution and continue to benefit of this politically acquired impunity.
It is true that it was the RPF that killed Karasira’s parents but the officials of the regime do not want this to be known from the public because it discredits the party and distorts their lying policies.
This crime was often perceived as an offense conceived by the Tutsi extremists against the Hutu population with the aim of intimidating them and indirectly inhibiting their right of expression because as soon as a Hutu politician expresses ideas against the regime, he is automatically accused of divisionism and genocide ideology and this contributes to muzzle him. This was the case of Mrs. Ingabire Umuhoza Victoire president of Dalfa Umurinzi; Me Ntaganda Bernard; Dr Niyitegeka Theoneste and many others. For the regime, the Hutus have been defeated and must be silent and if they dare to speak out the ideology of genocide and the accusation of genocide await them especially since these crimes are imprescriptible. Karasira Aimable, although he is a Tutsi and a genocide survivor, is assimilated to the Hutus because, considering his statements, he is no different from them. He is a Tutsi by origin and appearance but his thoughts and convictions are purely Hutu; this is what prompted the same authorities to assassinate the late Kizito Mihigo who advocated true reconciliation and seemed to raise the question of crimes committed by the RPF within his famous song ”igisobanuro cy’urupfu” which evoked these crimes bordering on double genocide.
The suspect’s mental health problem
Medical expertise certifies that Karasira has suffered for years from mental problems but that this would not prevent him from thinking like any normal person. Karasira’s lawyers and the latter himself rely on this disease to show that most of his statements in media were not well reasoned because he was in the grip of mental instability. Even if the court did not consider this defense, there is reason to discuss the limits of mental instability and how far she can affect the patient.
According to the law n ° 54/2018 of 13/08/2018 relating to the fight against corruption in its article 9, any person who cannot justify the source of his assets compared to his legitimate income commits an offense. the illicit enrichment seems unduly attributed to Karasira because he mentioned the sources of the sums of money he received, namely the donations from his friends, his family patrimony and the remunerations of Youtube. There remains the burning question of knowing if the political position of the donor of funds is to be taken into consideration and the law is silent on this subject.
Even if the Karasira Aimable case is at the pre-trial level, the judge’s position is already visible because he rejects all the objections raised by the defense lawyers, in particular the fact that the suspect is not mentally stable and the fact that the prevention of illicit enrichment is groundless because the sources of the money are known. It is to predict the worst because, as raised Karasira himself, those who motivated the arrest are still masters of his case in this justice without any independence.