Society Magazine

PRESS RELEASE 16/06/2020 – The Request for an Immediate End to the Harassment of the Rwandan Opposition Leaders, Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda

Posted on the 16 June 2020 by Therisingcontinent @Ambrosenz

On Saturday 13th June 2020, without a warrant, Rwandan security forces entered the homes of opposition leaders, Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda.

  • PRESS RELEASE 16/06/2020 – The request for an immediate end to the harassment of the Rwandan opposition leaders, Victoire Ingabire and Bernard NtagandaVictoire Ingabire, the leader of the political party DALFA-Umurinzi, while she was still imprisoned as the leader of FDU-Inkingi
  • PRESS RELEASE 16/06/2020 – The request for an immediate end to the harassment of the Rwandan opposition leaders, Victoire Ingabire and Bernard NtagandaBernard Ntaganda, leader of the political party PS-Imberakuri when he was still imprisoned.

The opposition leaders were falsely accused of conspiracy to liaise with terrorist organisations aiming to destabilise Rwanda. Their homes were forcibly searched, every communication device, i.e. laptops, USB drives, mobile phones and physical documents were seized and transported to the Rwandan Investigation Bureau.

Before Bernard Ntaganda’s home was invaded, he managed to send out a recording describing the situation. The security forces were said to be dressed in civilian clothes, jumping over his property fences, like trespassers. Some were carrying guns. The whole experience, he narrated, was extremely traumatic.

The two political leaders were terrorised; their homes were ransacked, their personal belongings, sentimental and valuable, were forcibly removed away by the security agents. Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda remained out of reach for several hours, unable to communicate with any friends, families or colleagues. When they did manage, they informed their contacts that they had yet to be imprisoned.

This troubling incident is the latest in a long history of assassinations, disappearances and imprisonment of dissident voices within Rwanda and beyond, in the diaspora. The murder of Kizito Mihigo on February 17 this year in police custody was the most significant in recent memory as it demonstrated a willingness to silence celebrity dissident voices; Mihigo was an adored Gospel musician and a national cultural icon.

As recently as April, 10 journalists were arrested. Among them was Cyuma Niyonsenga Dieudonne, who broke the story of Kizito Mihigo’s assassination; reporting that he had seen physical signs of torture on his body before the burial in late February. During the same period, he also reported the case of the soldiers of the Rwandan Patriotic Front who went on a raping spree of 13 women in the suburb of Bannyahe, where the Rwandan authorities have been accused of ransacking homes and making local populations homeless as a consequence.

  • PRESS RELEASE 16/06/2020 – The request for an immediate end to the harassment of the Rwandan opposition leaders, Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda
    Deceased Rwandan singer Kizito Mihigo (left) assassinated on 17/02/2020 and journalist Cyuma Dieudonne Niyonsenga (right) incarcerated on 15/04/2020 for revealing to the general public the assassination’s evidence and the raping in Kigali of 13 women by RDF soldiers with total impunity.

On Saturday, June 6, Venant Abayisenga, a member of the political party DALFA-Umurinzi was kidnapped by unknown attackers who took him away whilst he was running errands. Since his disappearance, a week later, the president of his party, Victoire Ingabire, has been harassed, searched and left extremely anxious.

Despite the relentless harassment and false imprisonment of political opponents, Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, continues to receive financial support from the UK, the USA, Canada, Belgium, Japan, The Netherlands, and Germany. International institutions like the International Monetary Fund – IMF are also complicit in their support of this unlawfulness.

The intensity of the harassment of the Rwandan politicians, journalists and human right activists has reached the sixth step on the pathway to a genocide that Professor Gregory H Stanton, Founding President of Genocide Watch calls polarisation, during which:

  • Leaders in targeted groups are the next to be arrested and murdered. 
  • The dominant group passes emergency laws or decrees that grants them total power over the targeted group.  
  • The laws erode fundamental civil rights and liberties. 
  • Targeted groups are disarmed to make them incapable of self-defence, and to ensure that the dominant group has total control. 

To the Rwandan president Paul Kagame and his supporters, be it international organisations or sovereign states, I strongly request the end of the harassment of Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda, leaders of the political parties DALFA-Umurinzi and PS-Imberakuri respectively, and all other Rwandans seeking peaceful, democratic change in their country. We ought to recognize that we cannot afford for history to repeat itself. And we have it within our power to ensure that it does not.

Ambrose Nzeyimana
Human Right Activist

Email: [email protected]

(Note: if you are Rwandan or not, reading this press release, but strongly compassionate to the suffering of the millions of individuals that Kagame and his clique oppress for more than 25 years, you are allowed to use the present text and make it yours to advocate on their behalf in your network of contacts, including media outlets and parliamentarians.)

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