Opposition Still Under Attack In Rwanda
Rwanda extends eviction threat to FDU member Theophile Ntirutwa.
In the wise and profound words of Winston Churchill:
“You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police … yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.” ― Winston Churchill, Blood, Sweat and Tears
If ever a quote embodied the mood that many describe inside of Rwanda to be it is this one. A climate of fear rules day and night with people having to look over their shoulders, fear of speaking where neighbors, friends and even family will report you for speaking negatively about the government.
In a nation where trust is small and fear is great there can be no dissention without a legal response. That has been prevalent the most in the political group of the FDU-INKINGI in Rwanda. Their leader remains imprisoned and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 18th, which is ironically the same date that President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is due to be voted for at the United Nations Security Council in the US.
Yet, the political gymnastics that has surrounded Victorie Ingabire’s trial is one of Olympic abilities. It is widely known that she is facing a life sentence on charges against her under the ambiguous “genocide law.”
Her compatriots have kept the diplomatic dream alive but as you will read in the below press release you will see that Kagame’s Rwanda is full of fear:
- Press Release:
- Kigali, 02 October 2012
- Rwanda: Eviction threat to FDU member Theophile Ntirutwa
- The local administration and members of the paramilitary militia known as “local defence” intruded the home of Mr. Theophile Ntirutwa, located in Nyarutarama (Kangondo II , Remera sector, Gasabo district) and took him to Nyarutarama police custody for a few hours. His house was sealed off and was ordered to pay Frw 20,000 and told to get out of that area. Apparently this happened after he turned down money collectors from Agaciro development fund, the controversial fund set to pump money from the population to compensate the delayed budget aid in light to overwhelming information that Rwanda is backing M23 rebels in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- 8 other FDU-Inkingi members from Rutsiro district have been illegally detained since 15 September 2012. The first lawyer dropped the case after police intimidation. A new defense lawyer, Emmanuel Bimenyimana, took the case but when he reached Nyabirasi detention centre he realised that a kangaroo court has been arranged without any defense, any family member. On 27 September 2012, the Karongi Intermediate Court denied bail and ordered a 30 day-provisional detention in the central prison of Gisovu. A bail appeal has been lodged today. Up to date the Karongi intermediate court has refused to issue a copy of the ruling on the case against FDU-members Mutuyimana Anselme, Uwiringiyimana venuste, Ufitamahoro Norbert, Dukundane Moise, Twizerimana Valens, Nahimana Marcel, Byukusenge Emmanuel and Gasengayire Leonille.
- Boniface Twagirimana
- Interim Vice president
Jennifer Fierberg is a social worker in the US working on peace and justice issues in Africa with an emphasis on the crisis in Rwanda and throughout the central region of Africa. Her articles have been published on many humanitarian sites that are also focused on changing the world through social, political and personal action.
Jennifer has extensive background working with victims of trauma and domestic violence, justice matters as well as individual and family therapy. Passionate and focused on bringing the many humanitarian issues that plague the African Continent to the awareness of the developed world in order to incite change. She is a correspondent, Assistant Editor, and Volunteer Coordinator for NGO News Africa through the volunteer project of the UN. Jennifer is also the media co-coordinator and senior funding executive for The Africa Global Village.