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He’s the president of Rwanda and the current president of the African Union, feted by the Brookings Institute, one of the most venerable ideological pillars of U.S. capital interests. So why is Paul Kagame manifesting more and more signs of paranoia? Let’s consider just a few possibilities: Assassination rumors, insurgency, political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, 7,000 Rwandan churches and mosques shut down.
The 1994 bloodbath in Rwanda also became an argument for the suppression or even criminalization of speech. No one makes these arguments more fiercely and absolutely than Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Kagame claims to have inspired Rwandans to rise from the ashes to build an economic miracle and example for all Africa. In a new book, however, economist David Himbara says that Kagame’s economic miracle is in fact an economic mirage. I spoke to David Himbara.
Both Rwandan and Congolese Americans and other members of the Rwandan and Congolese diaspora have for years asked the United States to stop supporting the military dictatorship of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Earlier this week U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power called on Kagame to step down at the end of his term in 2017. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.
Earlier this week, supporters of iconic Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, including her daughter and new granddaughter, gathered to protest her inhumane prison conditions. Members of her party in Kigali report that prison authorities have painted her only cell window black, taken away her books and put her in harsher isolation than before. Prison authorities are denying her legal right to meet with the Rwandan lawyer who’s representing her in her appeal to the African Court of Human and People’s Rights.
WBAI AfrobeatRadio spoke to St. John’s University Law School Professor Charles Kambanda on April 9, 2011, during the first week of Rwanda’s 17-year commemoration of the 1994 genocide. Pacifica and AfrobeatRadio producer Ann Garrison and Professor Kambanda asked us to republish the audio archive and transcript as the 20th Anniversary Commemorations of the Rwandan Genocide begin.
Many journalists have been convicted of the same speech crimes that presidential contender Victoire Ingabire is accused of: disagreeing with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his regime, also known as “divisionism,” and disagreeing with the constitutionally codified history of the Rwanda Genocide, known as “genocide ideology.”
Today, 62 percent of the people packed into Rwanda’s prisons have been charged or convicted of genocide-related crimes and some of the country’s most admired leaders are being accused of the “genocide ideology” thought crime. Most prominent are Victoire Ingabire, Kagame’s strongest competitor for the presidency, and Paul Rusesabagina, the hero portrayed in the film “Hotel Rwanda,” who is charged with “Double Genocide Theory.”