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Rwanda: Deplorable prison conditions for Victoire Ingabire

February 19, 2015

Netherlands ambassador makes courtesy visit to imprisoned opposition leader

by Justin Bahunga

French translation follows

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali, Ambassador of the Netherlands Ms. Leoni Cuelenaere paid a courtesy visit to political prisoner and president of FDU-Inkingi Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in her cell in Kigali Central Prison. The visit took place after a long struggle by the ambassador, who wanted to see for herself the prison conditions of Ms. Ingabire. They have deteriorated since the change in leadership at the central prison.

Dutch journalist Anneke Verbraeken was recently able to pay a brief visit to Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, shown here in court. Verbraeken said that Ms. Ingabire remained strong and radiant and that she writes every day. Now, however, poor prison lighting is reported to be damaging her eyesight.

Dutch journalist Anneke Verbraeken was able to pay a brief visit last year to Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, shown here in court. Verbraeken said that Ms. Ingabire remained strong and radiant at that time and that she was writing every day. Now, however, poor prison lighting is reported to be damaging her eyesight.

Ignoring all diplomatic protocol, the ambassador was unceremoniously not only forced to meet Ms. Ingabire in the management offices, but she was also instructed to speak in English so that the conversation could be recorded. Indeed, there was a security agent in the office who recorded the conversation with his mobile phone.

Poor lighting in the prison, which is part of the newly introduced measures taken by prison authorities against Ms. Ingabire, has affected her eyesight, and she was recently taken to hospital for medical treatment. Her complaints about the effect of poor lighting on her eyesight have been persistently ignored.

FDU-Inkingi would like to express our thanks to Ambassador Cuelenaere of the Netherlands, and through her to her country, for her determination and perseverance in resisting intimidation and going ahead to see for herself the bad treatment meted out to our leader, who is a political prisoner.

FDU-Inkingi deplore and condemn this unbecoming treatment of a diplomat from a country which is yet in the circle of friends of the regime in an attempt to deter her country from monitoring the conditions of detention of Madame Ingabire.

FDU-Inkingi reiterates that the Rwandan problem is primarily political and it will in no way be resolved by political trial. The solution lies in opening the political space for all political views and accepting a highly inclusive national political dialogue.

Justin Bahunga is commissioner for external relations and spokesman for FDU-Inkingi (United Democratic Forces-Opposition of Democratic Rwandans for Rwandan Reconciliation), which can be reached via info@fdu-rwanda.com, http://fdu-rwanda.com and http://victoire-ingabire.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoire-Ingabire-Umuhoza-for-President/109504816547, YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/FDUInkingi123 or Twitter at http://twitter.com/VictoireUmuhoza.

Visite de courtoisie de l’Ambassadrice des Pays-Bas à madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

par Justin Bahunga, Commissaire aux Affaires Politiques des FDU-Inkingi

Ce mardi 17 février 2015, l’ambassadrice des Pays-Bas à Kigali, madame Leoni Cuelenaere a rendu une visite de courtoisie à la prisonnière politique et Présidente des FDU-INKINGI, madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, dans sa cellule de la prison centrale de Kigali. La visite a eu lieu après un parcours de combattant de la part de l’ambassadrice qui voulait simplement se rendre compte des nouvelles conditions de détention de madame Victoire Ingabire, conditions qui se sont détériorées depuis le changement de direction à la prison centrale de Kigali.

Faisant fi aux réserves diplomatiques, l’ambassadrice a été obligée  sans ménagement à s’entretenir avec madame Ingabire non seulement dans les bureaux de la direction de la prison, mais aussi en anglais, afin que la conversation soit enregistrée. En effet, il y avait dans ce bureau de la direction de la prison, un agent des services de sécurité qui enregistrait avec son GSM. Madame Victoire Ingabire se plaint régulièrement de l’éclairage de la cellule, qui est à l’origine de douleurs oculaires fréquentes. Il y a à peine une semaine, elle avait dû être transportée à l’hôpital pour un traitement.

Les FDU-INKINGI déplorent et condamnent ce traitement peu diplomatique infligé à un diplomate d’un pays qui est pourtant dans le cercle restreint des amis du régime, dans le souci de dissuader son pays de suivre les conditions de détention de madame Victoire  Ingabire Umuhoza.

Les FDU-INKINGI saluent néanmoins la persévérance de l’ambassadrice des Pays-Bas et à travers elle son pays, qui ne s’est pas laissée intimider et a pu se rendre compte elle-même du traitement réservé à cette prisonnière politique.

Les FDU-INKINGI réitèrent que le problème rwandais est avant tout politique et qu’il ne pourra en aucun cas se résoudre par des procès politiques. La solution passe inéluctablement par une vraie ouverture politique à tous les courants de pensée, ouverture qui devrait déboucher à un dialogue politique hautement inclusif.

 

2 thoughts on “Rwanda: Deplorable prison conditions for Victoire Ingabire

  1. custom wrіtіng

    Netherlands ambassadors are really nice and great for their countries and other people. The people should know about the importance of the ambassadors. I really enjoyed your post because it gives a lot of knowledge.

    Reply

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