Rwanda: Official in Ruhango district detained over ‘Genocide ideology’
Police in Southern Rwanda have arrested a local official for referring to the 1994 Genocide as a war between ethnic groups, reports say.
Mr. Ernest Twahirwa stunned a Genocide commemoration function which took place on Sunday in Bweramana sector (Ruhango district) when he told his audience including grieving Tutsi survivors that the Genocide was a result of conflict between two ethnic groups.
Witnesses reported that Mr. Twahirwa, head of Social affairs at the Sector, avoided using “Tutsi Genocide”, instead describing the mass slaughter as civil war.
This arrest on alleged negation of the Genocide, referred to as Genocide ideology, comes among a few cases which have been recorded since the commemoration period started in 2007.
The accused Mr. Twahirwa faces criminal charges under a controversial Genocide law which is being reviewed by government following a protracted media and human rights groups’ campaign. Critics including donors say the law is being used to silence free speech – accusations President Kagame branded as “nonsense”.
Among the people who reported Mr. Twahirwa to the Police is Member of Parliament Marie-Rose Mureshyankwano. She is said to have forcefully grabbed the microphone from the accused official and started explaining to the audience the official version of events.
If found guilty, Mr. Twahirwa faces up to 25 years behind bars.