Rwanda Information Portal

Ingabire’s pre-trial detention court order expired on Christmas

by Sylvain Sibomana.

Ms. Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA, Chair of FDU-INKINGI, illegally incarcerated in RWANDA

Kigali – Today 27th December 2010, Ms. Victoire INGABIRE’s lawyer has requested an immediate release order from the Intermediate Court of GASABO because the pre-trial detention order expired on 25th December 2010. The case has not yet been transmitted for evidential trial. Her detention is illegal. �Paul KAGAME’s government has no legal basis to keep her in jail after the expiration of the ordinance. This is another proof of the politically motivated background of this case.

We call upon Rwandans and the international community to send calls and letters demanding the immediate and unconditional release of democracy leader, Ms. Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA, Chair of FDU-INKINGI, illegally incarcerated in RWANDA in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Rwanda is a signatory. She is detained in violation of articles 18 and 19 of the Rwandan Constitution and article 100 of the Rwandan Criminal procedure Law. �An order authorising for preventive detention remains in force for 30 days including the day on which it was delivered. After the expiry of that time, it can be renewed for one month and shall continue in that manner� (art.100, sub-section 3, Preventive Detention, LAW N� 13/2004 OF 17/5/2004 RELATING TO THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, O.G SPECIAL N� OF 30/07/2004).

�The person’s liberty is guaranteed by the State.� (art.18, Constitution). �Every person accused of a crime shall be presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been conclusively proved in accordance with the law in a public and fair hearing in which all the necessary guarantees for defence have been made available. Nobody shall be denied the right to appear before a judge competent by law to hear his or her case�. (art. 19, Constitution).

It is time to see if there is any institution or authority in Rwanda protecting the law or the national constitution.



Interim Secretary General.

December 27, 2010   No Comments

Ingabire’s Christmas in Rwandan jail

Leader of the opposition in Rwanda, Victoire Ingabire, has to spend her Christmas in a prisoncel in jail 1930, in Kigali. The ‘cel’ consists of a small space, a former office, with all the windows painted black. She sits in her cel with two female collegue-prisoners, who are in reality her spies: they hear every word she says and the follow all her movements.

Ingabire is not allowed to leave her cel. She is not allowed to walk outdoors, so she never sees the sun, or gets any fresh air. Therefore she’s got respiritory problems. She’s allowed once a day to get her food from Alice Muhirwa, treasurer of her party UDF Inkingi, it gives her a ten meters indoor-walk The only time she sees any sun is when she has to appear in the courthouse. According to Muhirwa and Sylvain Sibomana, secretary of UDF, her physical condion is allright under the circumstances. Ingabire has to suffer the weekly humiliation of her had beeing shaved. She takes that bravely, says Muhirwa.

Ingabire has eight! guards: three policemen in uniform with weapons, three men of the Criminal Investigation department, a female guard and a guard who commands all her other guards. But Ingabire is not intimidated, according to Muhirwa and Sibomana and she asks everybody to keep cool and to stay strong.

Ingabire is not allowed to write anything, she doesn’t have a computer, she’s not allowed to have any contact with the other prisoners, or to give any interviews. In fact she’s living in total isolation. She’s got permission however to see every friday some of her partymembers. They come to see her from all over the country.

In the meantime all the activities of UDF-Inkingi are influenced by Ingabires detention. The regime therefore has reached it’s goal. The situation can get worse if Muhirwa and Sibomana are sentenced to jail coming 5th of january. They have to stand trial for attending an illegal demonstration. “This is a political trial, with falsified charges and evidence”, Muhirwa says.

Not whitstanding all these problems UDF doesn’t give up hope. Sibomana: “Nobody will critsize the governement openly, but we have a lot of members and supporters throughout the country on all levels. That will show on our constitutive assembly. We are ready for it, but until now we were denied the right to hold this assembly.”

According to Muhirwa Ingabire will not return to Holland as a refugee: “But of course she hopes -in time- to be able to visit her husband, children and family from time to time. She misses them off course.”

Both partymembers find the silence of the international community remakable. “They seem to close their eyes to the situation in Rwanda. Instead the should make a powerfull statement concerning human rights and then political space.” Ingabire is not the only one in jail during Christmas. For example Bernard Ntaganda sits in the same jail since last summer. “The last few months we’ve seen a new wave of arrests of politicians, journalists and former members of the governmentparty RPF. They all have one thing in common: they critisize the government”, according to Sibomana.

Although the near future seems obscure, they both remain steadfast. Muhirwa: “We’re harrassed all the time by the national police and the intelligence service. The searching of our house a few days ago, is an example of their activities. All over the country members and supporters are put under pressure. But we will not bow.”

It’s Muhirwa who voices the Christmas message of Ingabire: “She herself can’t speak out, but she told me to wish her husband and children, her familiy and friends, partymembers and supporters in Rwanda and abroad all the luck, �peace and freedom.”


December 27, 2010   No Comments

Merry Chistmas & Happy New Year Card for Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda

by Ann Garrison.

Bernard Ntaganda, Rwandan opposition leader, planned to protest the opposition’s exclusion from Rwanda’s 2010 presidential election, saying, “Silence is acceptance.” He was arrested before he could leave the house on 06.24.2010, and is now, like Victoire Ingabire, spending Christmas in Rwanda’s 1930 maximum security prison

Please add your Christmas wishes to this global online Christmas card for Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda, and for the Rwandan people, and African people of the wider region, who have suffered �such brutal dictatorship and exploitation for so long.

The AfrobeatRadio Collective will publish everyone’s good wishes, on Please include names and locations, unless doing so is cause for anxiety.

To Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda
1930 Prison
Kigali, Rwanda

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi opposition leader, is spending Christmas in Rwanda’s maximum security 1930 prison.

Dear Victoire and Bernard:

We are sad to see you, two of the candidates who attempted to contest this year’s Rwandan presidential election, spending Christmas behind bars, in Rwanda’s 1930 maximum security prison. Your incarceration, even after the release of the October 1st UN Mapping Report documenting the Kagame regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, and civilian massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is justice turned upside down, or rather, no justice at all.

Though you will not even be able to read this card online or in print, we hope you may somehow hear of it and be heartened.

Thank you many times over for your courage and strength.

December 27, 2010   1 Comment