RWANDAN AUTHORITIES USE KAFKAESQUE MOVES TO DENY VICTOIRE INGABIRE BASIC RIGHTS

Victoire Ingabire with lawyers Gatera Gashabana and Iain Edwards in 2012.
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Victoire Ingabire, center, with her lawyers Gatera Gashabana, left, and Iain Edwards, right, at her trial in Kigali in 2012.  Gatera Gashabana is representing Ingabire in her appeal to the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights, but prison authorities are not allowing him to speak with her.  
 
This Friday, 24/07/2015, for the second consecutive time, the Kigali central prison authorities refused to allow Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza to meet with her attorney, Gatera Gashabana, who is preparing her appeal to the African Court of Human and People's Rights. They allege that her case is closed. Reached by telephone, the prison spokesperson confirmed that they had denied Victoire access to her lawyer, Gatera Gashabana, and that they had ordered Mr. Gashabana to write a new application for "certification," in Kinyarwanda.

This is typical of the Kagame regime's Kafkaesque, bureaucratic moves to stifle democracy. In 2010, when Victoire Ingabire attempted to run against President Kagame, she was repeatedly told that her party had not completed all the proper papers and procedures to register and field a candidate.  Authorities repeatedly told he Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR) the same throughout 2010, until DGPR Chairman Frank Habineza showed a pile of fruitless communications with the Rwandan government to Europeans who had come to observe the faux election that returned Kagame to power.
 
The Rwandan central prison authorities put out statements saying that the allegations in our press release of 14 July 2015, which stated that Victoire Ingabire had been denied access to her lawyer, were false - even as they denied her access again. In our press release of July 14th, we also denounced Victoire Ingabire’s increasingly harsh conditions of detention, which included painting the windows of her detention cell completely black to prevent any ray of light to get in.
 
The Rwandan government cannot legally ignore Victoire Ingabire's appeal to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The government has even appointed a government lawyer to the trial and responded to the complaint. FDU Inkingi once again denounces the Kigali authorities' deceitful, bureaucratic game. In response to media pressure, they declared that Victoire Ingabire's access to her lawyer is an inalienable right, but deny her access to her lawyer at their very first opportunity. This brutally politicized "justice" does not rise to international standards and should not be tolerated by the international community.
 
Done at Kigali this July 22, 2015
For FDU Inkingi
Boniface Twagirimana
1st Vice President

 

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