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

We have learnt with deep concern that the unsung political hero, Miss Leonille Gasengayire, detained in Kigali Central prison has been denied urgent medical attention for her kidney problems.

Miss Leonille Gasengayire, one of the members of FDU-Inkingi arrested in September 2017 has been ill, needing a check of her kidneys. We are very concerned that this could be a result of beatings she was subjected to during the various interrogations by security services during her arrests. 

I would like to recall that this is the fourth time that she is arrested. Therefore, we have reasons to fear that having failed to convince her to abandon her political party FDU-Inkingi and cognisant of the methods of the regime against critics, we have reasons not to rule out a foul play in delaying the treatment. She is a stain in the external image of the regime that brags of being the best country in the world in women empowerment and she is perceived as a bad role model for the youth.

She was jailed in 2012 and sentenced to two years imprisonment for being in and not reporting a group that was criticising government’s education policy and the healthy system: “an offence of not reporting a crime being committed”. She resumed her secondary school education and was able to proceed to university. She was rearrested and kept incommunicado for 3 days (26-29) March 2016. Her university education was against interrupted when she was arrested on August 23, 2016 for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While on a visit to her family in Kivumu- Rutsiro, western province, she arrived at a time when the people were protesting expropriation without proper compensation. She was accused under article 463 of the penal code for inciting people against the government. She was released in March 2017 only to be arrested again in September 2017.

The FDU-Inkingi would like to appeal to all people of good will and those who believe in the universality of political and civil rights to intervene in order to save the life of this innocent young lady, in prison for her political beliefs.


Done in London, on February 26, 2018.

Justin Bahunga,

FDU-Inkingi Commissioner for External Relations and spokesperson.