by Ann Garrison
In a press release sent at 5 a.m. Pacific Time, FDU-Inkingi Executive Secretary Sylvain Sibomana wrote: “After a week of siege without any explanation whatsoever, the police has just drifted in the house and arrested Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the Chair of FDU-Inkingi. She was taken immediately to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for unknown reasons. This arrest comes amid a climate of heavy political tension marked by wanton attacks against the democratic opposition.”
Ingabire returned to Rwanda from European exile in January, intending to run for the presidency against Rwandan President Paul Kagame, but she was not allowed to register her party or contest the election. Instead she was arrested, the first time in March, for violating Rwanda’s “genocide ideology” statutes, which criminalize disagreement with the official history of the horrific violence of 1994 that became known as the Rwanda Genocide.
American law professor and international criminal defense attorney Peter Erlinder then traveled to Rwanda to defend her, only to be arrested on the same “genocide ideology” charges. Erlinder was eventually released on medical grounds, after which he returned to the United States and continued to speak out against the Rwandan government and against the Pentagon’s use of Rwanda – and Uganda and Burundi – as its military proxies in Africa. This week Rwandan prosecutors announced their intention to proceed with their case against Erlinder after removing any citations of his pleadings at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda as evidence against him.
Ingabire and Erlinder have both been outspoken about the “U.N. Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuse in the Democratic Republic of Congo” that was leaked to Le Monde on Aug. 26, then officially released on Oct. 1, with responses by the Rwandan, Ugandan, Burundian and Angolan governments, all of whose armies were implicated. The report most shocked the world with its documentation of the Rwandan army’s genocidal massacres of civilian Hutu people, Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutus from Congo’s eastern to western border during the 1990s.
Frank Habineza, chair and presidential candidate of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, has taken refuge with his family in Sweden, since the body of the party’s vice president, Andre Rwisereka, was found beheaded and dumped in the wetlands of the Makurera River in southern Rwanda on July 14.
San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Digital Journal, Examiner.com, OpEdNews, Global Research, Colored Opinions and her blog, Plutocracy Now. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story originally appeared on Digital Journal.
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