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Rwanda: Victoire Ingabire facing possible life sentence on Friday, Oct. 19

October 17, 2012

by Ann Garrison

Political prisoner Victoire Ingabire at her trial in September 2011
Just over two years ago, on Oct. 14, 2010, Rwandan police arrested and imprisoned Victoire Ingabire. She’s appeared only in Rwandan courts, in the pink gown and shaved head of Rwandan prisoners ever since.

KPFA Radio, in distant Northern California and streaming on the web, last spoke to her on Oct. 9, 2010, five days before her arrest and eight days after the official release of the U.N. Mapping Report on mass atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When Ingabire spoke to KPFA by phone that day, she confirmed reports that Rwandan government security operatives surrounding her home in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, had been replaced by police with firearms and that six of them were visible from a window inside. Others reported that Rwandan troops had moved into her neighborhood and shops had been ordered to close.

For the same report, KPFA spoke to former ICTR defense attorneys Christopher Black and Peter Erlinder. Erlinder had been imprisoned in Rwanda in May and June that year, after traveling there to defend Ingabire against state charges. Ingabire herself was imprisoned five months later.

The verdict in her trial has been postponed twice, but now, once again on Friday, she is facing the Rwandan prosecutor’s request that she be sentenced to life. Her crime? Disagreeing with Rwanda’s constitutionally codified history of the Rwanda Genocide, which Rwandan Gen. Paul Kagame has used to justify 16 years of military aggression in D.R. Congo. The ongoing aggression has cost millions of East and Central African lives.

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News, the Newsline EA (East Africa) and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, Weekend News on KPFA and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at This story first appeared on her website. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website at


6 thoughts on “Rwanda: Victoire Ingabire facing possible life sentence on Friday, Oct. 19

  1. therisingcontinent

    This week I was in a lobbying meeting seeking to change UK policy towards Rwanda and DRC with a purpose of ending impunity in the region. But as Christopher Black points out in the broadcast, US have overall control on ICC, ICTR and UNSC, which are the only channels through which such policy change can occur. Consequently, as Peter Erlinder suggests too, efforts of lobbying should target more US than any other stakeholder to the situation.

  2. Michael

    Ingabire will not be convicted for disagreeing "with Rwanda’s constitutionally codified history of the Rwanda Genocide" as Ann Garrison would like us to believe. Ingabire will be convicted for funding a terrorist organisation (FDLR) and propagating hatred, divisionsims and genocide ideology. Ingabire is a Hutu supremacist that has to be locked away before she can intoxicate innocent Rwandans.

    1. serious2020

      Is this the same 'Michael' who supports dictatorial regimes in Haiti and out of control police who gun down Afrikan people (globally) and every 36 hours in the U.S?

      I'm just curious…there always seems to be a 'Michael' who supports the most right wing actions committed by those whom the world recognizes as being revolutionary and leaders fighting the oppression that the U.S. government exports with its every breath.

      Inquiring minds truly do want to know…

    2. therisingcontinent

      Michael, let's be a bit rational though it is difficult to be with RPF ideologists. I am hutu and I have family members and hutu friends who were killed by RPF in-filtered elements and soldiers during the 100 days of the Rwandan genocide of April to July 1994. I also have hutu friends and members of my family who were killed by RPF in Congo. Am I allowed to mention this publicly in Rwanda? If I do, would I be propagating hatred, divisionisms and genocide ideology? As for Ingabire working with FDLR, though such allegations have been proven to be fabrications, if this was seen as a crime, I think RPF regime should first assess how many FDLR members it has in its ranks.


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