Very Sad Day: Victoire Ingabire jailed for peacefully fighting for dialogue, reconciliation and democracy in Rwanda
by Aimable Mugara.
Rwandans Need Your Help.
Mrs Victoire Ingabire is a 41 year old mother of three. She had a very good job in the Netherlands where she had been studying during the 1994 genocide. In 2009, she resigned her job to go back to Rwanda and participate in the presidential elections this August 2010. She was back in Rwanda on Jan 17, 2010 after 16 years in exile. She was recognized by all as the main leader of the Rwandan non-violent political opposition.
After 3 months of fabricating evidence, today the RPF Rwandan government arrested her. The current Rwandan government’s abuse of prisoners has been documented by many human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Mrs Ingabire is currently at risk of torture, or even death while incarcerated.
Today is a very sad day for Rwanda because the current Rwandan government is sending a message that if you participate peacefully in the country’s political process, there is a price to pay. If the government thinks that the people may vote for you, you will be jailed. This disrespect for human rights and democracy is exactly what caused the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
The extremists’ belief that the only way to resolve political issues is through violence is exactly what caused the genocide. For 50 years, there has never been a peaceful transfer of power in Rwanda. Every president of Rwanda who has ever lost power lost it only by being killed or by being jailed. Mrs Victoire Ingabire believed in a new Rwanda. A new Rwanda where power can be changed peacefully, at the ballot box.
Today is a turning point in Rwanda’s future. What happens from now on will determine whether the 50 year curse of using violence to make political change in Rwanda remains the only way possible. Or whether non-violent peaceful democratic ways championed by Mrs Ingabire remain a viable option to create political change in Rwanda.
Below are 5 examples of actions you can take to help the Rwandan people in this very dark moment of Rwandan history:
1. Donate to Mrs Ingabire’s Legal Defense Fund at http://ww.fdu-rwanda.org/donation
In the Comments field, please note “Ingabire’s Legal Defense Fund”
2. Contact your local Human Rights Watch office and let them know of today’s injustice.
Contact info can be found at: http://www.hrw.org/en/contact-us
3. Contact Amnesty International Secretariat and let them know of today’s injustice.
Contact info can be found at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/contact
4. Contact Mrs Ingabire’s party and let them know that you stand with Rwandan people in this peaceful struggle for peace, equality, and human rights for all Rwandans.
Contact info can be found at: http://www.fdu-rwanda.org/fr/contacts-rwanda/index.html
5. Contact any other organizations you can think of such as media, human rights organizations, international aid groups, embassies.
As peace-loving Rwandan people, we call upon you to help us convince General Kagame’s current Rwandan government that this dangerous escalation is not in the government’s interests and it is not in the interests of any peace-loving person on earth. We thank you in advance!
A concerned Rwandan citizen