As Rwanda Prepares For Elections: Déo Mushayidi
continued from: Hawks on the run
On Saturday 6 March 2010, the Rwandan authorities confirmed the arrest of the opposition leader, Déo Mushayidi. Mushayidi, had been living in recent months in Tanzania, was arrested by Tanzanian police in the town of Bukoba. On 4 March, he was taken to the Burundi frontier and transferred by the Burundian police to Bujumbura. On Friday 5 March he was extradited to Rwanda, despite the absence of an international arrest warrant or even any kind of legal procedure, and transferred to Kicukiro police station, Kigali.
Born in 1961 in the south east of Rwanda, Mushayidi was a genocide survivor who in 1995 resigned his post as assistant to the Secretary-General of the FPR, Major Théogène Rudasingwa. He became a journalist on several papers e.g. l’Ere de Liberté, Imboni where he began to denounce human rights violations and corruption. In 1996, he was elected president of the Association of Journalists of Rwanda (AJIR). He also became Executive Secretary of the Centre for the Promotion of Freedom of Expression and Tolerance in the Great Lakes Region. In 2000, persecuted and slandered by the government media, he requested and was granted asylum in Belgium.
There he involved himself in a number of political movements including the monarchist Alliance for Democracy and National Reconciliation (ADRN), Igihango and the Intwari Partnership in order to create in 2008 the Pact for the Defence of the People (PDP) of which he remains president until today. He left Belgium in order to continue his political activities closer to Rwanda.
After his arrest, Déo Mushayidi was accused of being implicated in the grenade attacks and of working with Kayumba et Karegeya. Amnesty International has organised an emergency action to support him.
Read further: The cracks in the mirror
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