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Rwanda:Throwing someone in jail for being critical of government policy is extremely sad, Ingabire tells the Supreme Court

By Boniface Twagirimana, Interim Vice President

Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire

Kigali, 30 April 2013-Continuing her submission to the Supreme Court, Mrs Ingabire told the Court that it is the duty of the Party she leads FDU-Inkingi to point out what is going wrong with government policies so that they are able to correct them. She said that it was sad that someone could be thrown in jail because he/she has criticised government policies. She added that it was time the government stopped considering those who criticise it as enemies but take them as people who are keen to build their country. The solution to the problem that the country is facing, she said, can only be solved through dialogue and political debate. She stated that as long as the regime continues to refuse such a dialogue and political debate and throws anyone who tries to point out what is wrong with government, she would consider the regime to be dictatorial.

The prosecution is appealing against three things: the High Court’s decision to clear Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza of the charge of forming an armed group and of spreading rumours intended to turn the population against the government and the High Court verdict to reduce her sentence.

With regard to the 1st account, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza pointed out that the Prosecution had failed to provide evidence to prove that the armed group ever existed, what it did and the role that she had in inciting its creation. Victoire added that the evidence that she produced before the court demonstrated that the idea was hatched by the CID and the prosecution, in collaboration with Major Uwumuremyi Vital. She added that the High Court had rightly cleared her because of lack of evidence from the prosecution.

The charge relating to spreading rumours intended to turn the population against the government had been based on three things namely what Victoire Ingabire said in her interviews with journalists, her writings and her speech at the airport. What the Prosecution did was to pick a few words she had said or written and took them out of context to pin her down. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza told the court that FDU-Inkingi decided to come to operate in Rwanda because of the problems facing the country and the Prosecution has not proved the contrary of what she said or wrote. She said: “the High Court cleared me of the charge of spreading rumours intended to turn the population against the government because the Court was convinced that my criticism was not intended to turn the population against the government and that we did not just show what is wrong but also suggested solutions”

With regards to the appeal of the Prosecution relating to the reduction of her sentence, she said that the verdict of the High Court was reached in line with the law and based on the evidence presented to the court by the Prosecution.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza made it crystal clear that the letter she sent to the Head of State was not to beg presidential pardon. She was responding to government officials who had been asking her to hold discussion but had replied that she could not hold discussions while she was still in prison.

The court sessions will resume on the 8th of May 2013 when the defence of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza will present its submissions.

Source: FDU-Inkingi

May 5, 2013   No Comments

Reasons why we Rwandan refugees aren’t ready to return to Rwanda

Rwandan refugees

Rwandan refugees fleeing Rwanda

Our beloved visitor, We Rwandan refugees are very happy to receive you and you are highly welcome.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We Rwandan refugees, we love our country Rwanda and we are not happy to be called refugees and even staying outside our country. But due to a number of reasons, many Rwandan are still staying outside their country as refugees and we are requesting you to allow us to continue staying in their countries, Uganda inclusive and stop or postpone cessation clause program that is soon affecting Rwandan refugees until our country is fully secured.

The main reasons that hinder Rwandese from repatriating are noted below:

1. To tell the truth, HUTUs killed TUTSIs and TUTSIs killed HUTUs more than necessary until now, but Rwandan Government changed the name from mass killing to Genocide to Rwandese and later Genocide to TUTSIs and all survivors of Genocide are TUTSIs while all perpetrators are HUTUs who died are remembered and all survivors including orphans are assisted while HUTUs who died are not remembered and their survivors, orphans and widows are not assisted in all aspects of life and we have may living examples.

NB. All bones for TUTSIs, HUTUs and even TWA were buried in Beautiful burial sites and they are called parts of Tutsis who died during Genocide. Do HUTUs and TWA become Tutsi after death?

2. Our beloved guest of honor, Rwandan refugees from Oruchinga and Nakivale Refugee Settlement started repatriating voluntarily since 1996 up to 2009 but over 90% of those who repatriated came back due to their insecurity problem. Now how can they go back? When majority of them are returnees.

3. It is true there is no war in our country, but there is a cold war that is based on the following:

(i) GENOCIDE IDEOLOGY: Any person who is not satisfied with the way Rwandan government is treating people is called Genocider or any one who talks or respond to the government, Tutsis do not participate in night patrol only Hutus and Twa (Local Defense) do.

(ii) IN EDUCATION SECTOR: All Tutsis are given scholarships as they are called survivor, widows and orphans of Genocide whether true or not but no Hutus or Twa can get it.

(iii) RECALL PERIOD (IBUKA = REMEMBER): In this period many Hutus suffer in may ways such as being beaten, abused verbally and some go to jail in case one Tutsi or may shows that they are traumatized.

(iv) FREEDOM OF SPEECH: In Rwanda, there is no freedom of speaking anything whether good or bad that is not in line with the government’s programs, or ask why some programs are set in the way that is not satisfying the entire community.

4. KILLING PEOPLE DURING THE NIGHT AND ABDUCTING OTHERS:

This exercise of killing innocent people and taking others to unknown places was practiced since 1994 until now. This is done by RPF soldiers by using some of friends or relatives of those innocent people.

To those who were civil servants or politicians or government workers, soldiers or students, they use the positions they had before genocide and they take them, where they were working from and be either killed or imprisoned and then they go back to disorganize and intimidating the remaining ones (relatives).

5. INJUSTICE: In Rwanda Local Courts (GACACA) confused and conflicted many Hutus as they were only perpetrators of Genocide in that simple cases were made criminal cases, and they were characterized of lies and assumptions. Example of a true lie; there is a person who died before Genocide and he was accused to have killed people during the Genocide.

GACACA had its powers but they could even intervene in cases that could be settled in High Courts or Supreme Courts or Courts of Army.

NB. Many of us who are still outside the country, we are sentenced and that is why they want us to repatriate in order to be imprisoned.

The same court could imprison people and take long time to settle their cases and after like 2 or 3 years they release them saying that they proved innocent and no compensation for that period in jail and in jail they are treated badly.

People who complete their sentences, in prison and who are set free because they are proved innocent go back home when they are mentally and physically incapacitated due to poor treatment in a jail and they can not be assisted in any way.

Other reasons that threaten Rwandese from repatriating:

Revenge done and still being done by Tutsis to Hutus show that peace will take time to come in Rwanda.

Young generations that are born in Uganda do not know their home country and they do not have where to go and they do not know what to do, especially orphan.

All old people above 50 years of age are accused of having participated in 1959 conflicts that caused Tutsis to leave the country so they should be penalized of what they did.

Some were killed in Rwanda and others are outside the country.

With those few reasons and many unmentioned we are requesting you to cancel out the decisions of cessation clause. In case you need testimonies, here are many people who face the mentioned challenges recently and some few years ago.

Yours faithfully,

RWANDAN REFUGEES

Source: The Rwandan

May 5, 2013   No Comments