The Rwandan Supreme Court’s ruling on the appeal of imprisoned opposition leader Madame Victoire Ingabire has been postponed again, from November 1st to December 13th. Ingabire, leader of Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi Party, was arrested three years ago, in October 2010, after attempting to run for president against sitting President Paul Kagame. Bernard Ntaganda, leader of Rwanda’s P.S.-Imberakuri Party has also been imprisoned since attempting to run against Kagame that year.
Ingabire was charged with treason and genocide ideology, which means disagreeing with the official, Constitutionally codified history of the Rwandan Genocide, or, more broadly, disagreeing with the government, or making reference to ethnicity.
Another key leader of the FDU-Inkingi, Sylvain Sibomana, the party’s Interim Secretary General, has been in prison since his arrest within the premises of the Supreme Court, where he had gone to observe Ingabire’s trial, on the 25th of March 2013. The party reports that he has been tortured, and has lost at least one tooth, which was shattered and splintered into his jaw.
The FDU-Inkingi has called upon Rwanda’s key partners, China, US, EU, UK, Germany and the Netherlands, to urge President Paul Kagame to immediately release these and other political prisoners, including journalist Deogratias Mushayidi, co-author of Les Secrètes du Genocide Rwandaise, and Dr. Theoneste Niyitegeka, a 2003 presidential candidate in 2003) and restore basic human rights in Rwanda. All day sit-ins outside the Rwandan Embassy in Brussels, and outside the Dutch Parliament in The Hague, will take place on November 1st, the date the verdict had been scheduled, despite the postponement.