Sentenced to 15 years in prison on December 13, 2013 and incarcerated ever since at the infamous Kigali Maximum Security prison, the Chairperson of the democratic opposition party FDU-Inkingi, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, has just filed an appeal to this pan African court based in Arusha, Tanzania.
In her file, Ms. Victoire Ingabire asks the Honourable Court:
1-To acknowledge that the Rwandan national courts violated the relevant legal instruments on human rights to which Rwanda is signatory.
2-To order, with retroactive effect, the repeal of laws on genocide ideology, genocide minimization and on spreading rumours,
3-To order a retrial especially in light of the recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association in Rwanda,
4 To order parole pending a real trial,
5. To order payment for damages and interests due to the arbitrary detention to which she was subjected.
Ms. Ingabire’s appeal comes about when Rwandan penitential authorities have tightened detention conditions without any explanation, including visits to which she was entitled since her conviction. It also comes about at a moment when many voices are increasingly questioning the ability of Rwandan courts to try political cases given the obvious lack of the independence of the Judiciary from the Executive. One may indeed recall that before the trial took place President Kagame had said that Ms. Ingabire’s place was in prison.
Both at the Supreme Court and the High Court levels, the trial was marked by numerous irregularities, which have been particularly denounced by the European Parliament and by many human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Done in Brussels, on October 17, 2014