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Rwanda Opposition Leader Says Government Silencing Dissent

Kigali – The leader of Rwanda’s opposition United Democratic Forces UDF says President Paul Kagame’s government is determined to prevent her from participating in the scheduled August general elections.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza said the government is using the country’s 1994 genocide to “blackmail” and silence any dissenting views.

“They refused that I go outside the country. I went three times to the police office and there was nothing new regarding the questions they asked me. It is the same question that I collaborated with the FDLR Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and that there were some testimonies from some members of the FDLR that said that I was in Kinshasa with them in March. But I was not in Kinshasa in March I was there in February,” she said.

Ingabire Umuhoza was recently prevented from travelling abroad after police said she was under investigation because of comments she made about the 1994 genocide.

Shortly after returning to Rwanda, Ingabire Umuhoza called for the prosecution of those responsible for the death of Hutus during the genocide. But a group of genocide survivors called on the government to prosecute the opposition leader, saying her pronouncement belittled the genocide in which hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were killed.

Ingabire Umuhoza said despite the lack of evidence, officials are preventing her from organizing her first official meeting which will pave the way for her party to be registered and fully recognized by the government.

“When my lawyer asked them that because their testimonies were not right and that now Ingabire was free to go where she wants and free to organize meeting of her political party. They said “no, not yet. We are looking for other evidence against her. But that was the day after the minister of justice said there was no evidence against me,” Ingabire Umuhoza said.

Supporters of the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front RPF dismissed the accusations as without merit. They said President Kagame’s party can confidently run on its record of ensuring adequate security and rebuilding the economy against an opposition that they said has nothing to offer Rwandans.

Ingabire Umuhoza said the government is sharply opposed to dissenting views.“The government of Paul Kagame does not accept or tolerate any other opinion. If you are not aligned with the policy of Paul Kagame… you will end up in jail. And I think it is about time that we stop this regime of Paul Kagame,” Ingabire Umuhoza said.

via Rwanda Opposition Leader Says Government Silencing Dissent.

April 1, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: No To Paul Kagame’s Tyranny, Say Demonstrators In The Netherlands

The Hague: Rwandans exiled in the Netherlands and friends of Rwanda organised this March 31, 2010 a demonstration against Paul Kagame’s dictatorial regime. In a press release issued by six Dutch organisations, they urge everybody “to reject the tyranny of the RPF and demand respect for human rights especially the political rights.” They write:

Asserting that the opponents against current regime are not enemies of the people of Rwanda, we say “NO” to the state of terrorism in Rwanda. The Dutch population must assume its responsibilities and refuse to support the military dictatorship of General Kagame.

The RPF and General Paul Kagame have been governing the Rwanda for 16 years. Apart from the political parties that are subservient, the RPF does not tolerate any other opinion. If a Rwandese does not align with the policy of Paul Kagame, he/she must remain silent, flee, end up in jail or simply disappear.

Since the RPF came to the power in 1994, several Ministers and MPs have rum away from Rwanda or are languishing in prison. They include the following figures:

1. Pasteur Bizimungu, First President under the reign of the RPF, was ousted and imprisoned because he had dared to create the political Party PDR-Ubuyanja along with Minister Charles Ntakirutinka who is still in prison.

2. Joseph Sebarenzi, first President of the Parliament under the RPF administration fled the country because he wanted the Parliament to be independent and to exercise its right to control the government.

3. Former Prime Ministers Faustin Twagiramungu and Pierre Celestin Rwigema were forced into exile.

4. Ministers, MPs and senior officials that have been forced into exile are innumerable.

5. Ambassadors, including Ambassador of Rwanda to the Netherlands, Mr Jean Pierre Bizimana, former head of domestic intelligence of Paul Kagame, because he has refused to implement macabre RPF’s plans against Rwandan refugees in the Netherlands and Ambassador of Rwanda to India, General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa who was a former coordinator of intelligence have run away.

In Rwanda, no political party that is not subservient to the RPF is accepted. In 2003/2008 the RPF dissolved the Democratic Republican Movement (MDR) party, refused to register the party PDR-Ubuyanja and imprisoned its founder, the former President Pasteur Bizimungu. The RPF also refused the registration of the party ADP-Amizero and pushed its founder, Minister Celestin Kabanda into exile.

Since the announcement of the date of presidential elections in August 2010, three new Parties have tried to register so that they can challenge Kagame. The RPF and its government have erected a “wall of law” impassable according to Paul Kagame himself. Indeed, everything has been done in order to refuse the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda led by Frank Habineza and FDU-inkingi of Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza the right to hold constituent assembly, and plans are being orchestrated in order to dissolve the PS-Imberakuri recently approved. The three opposition parties have formed the Permanent Consultative Council of Opposition Parties.

Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza has been assaulted on February 3, 2010 within the premises of the administrative building in Kigali and is at high risk of prison. Mrs. Ingabire was recently forbidden from visiting her family and is under relentless police interrogations by the Criminal Investigation Department. Mr. Frank Habineza and Mr. Bernard Ntaganda fear for their lives. Mr. Deo Mushayidi, former RPF representative in Switzerland and founder of the political party PDP-Imanzi, has been kidnapped from Burundi and was thrown into jail in Rwanda.

We urge the Dutch Government that is one of the main sponsors of the dictatorship of Kagame to demand political rights and democracy in Rwanda. We say no to tyranny, we ask that Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza’s rights be respected. We demand that the political opposition be given much political space and be free to explain their political agenda to the Rwandan population. We finally demand the release of Deo Mushayidi.

FDU Hollande Stichting
Pro Justitia Stichting SBNZ
Stichting Gezonde Jongeren
Stichting Rwanda Ned Tubane
Stichting SWW Muhoza

March 31, 2010

April 1, 2010   No Comments