Category Archives: Democracy

My story proves Rwanda’s lack of respect for good governance and human rights


Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

Responsibility for defending what the Commonwealth stands for must not pass to the country without reforms.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza launched the Dalfa Umurinzi party to ‘strive for the rule of law’.

Global development is supported by

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

If Rwanda had hosted the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, which has been cancelled for the second time due to Covid-19, the UK was due to hand the country the Commonwealth chair.

Rwanda would have held the responsibility for defending what the Commonwealth stands for – despite violating those same values for decades. When Rwanda was admitted as a member in 2009, I had hoped our government would apply Commonwealth values in its governance. But this did not happen.

In January 2010, I made the decision to leave my family and career in the Netherlands and return to my beloved Rwanda. I intended to register my party, the United Democratic Forces of Rwanda (UDF-Inkingi), and to contest the 2010 presidential elections.

But the Rwandan government does not tolerate dissenting voices. I was arrested and dragged into politically motivated judicial proceedings. After I was sentenced to eight years in jail by the high court, I appealed to the supreme court and the sentence was increased to 15 years. The African Court on Human and People’s Rights cleared me and held that Rwanda had violated my rights to freedom of expression as well as to adequate defence. After eight years’ imprisonment, I was released under presidential grace in 2018.

I spent five years in solitary detention, during which time I wrote a book, Between 4 walls of the 1930 prison: memoirs of a Rwandan prisoner of conscience. In it, I recount the three years between announcing my presidential candidacy to my incarceration in the infamous “1930” maximum security prison. I dedicated my book primarily to all who are engaged in the struggle for democracy in Rwanda, with a special thought for the vice-president of the Democratic Green Party, André Kagwa Rwisereka, who was murdered in 2010 and the former head of intelligence, Patrick Karegeya, who was murdered in 2013.

The more injustice that I and my fellow citizens have endured – including the killing of my close political aides – the more motivated I am to fight for democracy in Rwanda. On my release, I launched the political party Dalfa Umurinzi with a mission to strive for the rule of law and for sustainable development benefiting every Rwandan. Although the constitution provides me with the right to organise a general assembly, I’m not permitted to register my political party or be approved to operate.

The more injustice I and my fellow citizens have endured, the more motivated I am to fight for democracy in Rwanda

In 2019, I received an international award from the Association for Human Rights of Spain (APDHE). I couldn’t travel to Spain to collect the prize because I had no right to leave Rwanda without permission from the justice minister. Two requests to do so have received no response from the authorities. I have not seen my family in the Netherlands for more than 10 years.

There is a pattern of limiting political participation to those affiliated to the ruling party and excluding serious contenders in Rwanda’s presidential elections. This is done by fabricating charges and abusing the judicial system. These acts represent a violation of Commonwealth core principles.Advertisement

They also challenge the claim often advanced by the ruling circle in Rwanda that the established political system is based on power-sharing consensus democracy with the intent of overcoming ethnic divisions and accelerating development.

Rwanda’s oft-repeated development success story is flawed. In 2006, 72% of Rwanda’s debt was written off under the IMF and World Bank’s heavily indebted poor countries initiative, while Rwanda received more overseas development assistance than countries with similar incomes – a total of $17bn (£11bn) from 2000 to 2019.

Despite this, Rwanda remains one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 160th out of 189 countries in the UN Human Development Index of 2019. The government’s 2000 development agenda, which aimed to transform Rwanda into a middle-income economy by 2020, has not succeeded and delivery has been postponed to 2035.

Although economic growth has been high in Rwanda, it is characterised by low per capita income, low private investment, low exports and high reliance on aid. Since 2012, Rwanda’s borrowing has intensified, increasing indebtedness to 66% of GDP in 2020.

The main economic challenges include an undeveloped private sector, increasing unproductive indebtedness, high youth unemployment and a consistently high poverty rate, as well as a population happiness deficit.

Rwanda’s alleged role in regional political tensions has also prevented economic development. Reconciliation policies, implemented after the civil war and the 1994 genocide, are not inclusive. They weaken the social capital that is needed for our population to trust each other and work together efficiently. The repression of dissenting voices has encouraged Rwanda’s citizens to abstain from participating in social, economic and political decisions.Advertisement

Prior to Covid-19, Rwanda had a cash gap of 15.7% of GDP a year to meet its sustainable development goals by 2030. This has increased to 21.3% of GDP per year. Given that its government was provided with significant financial assistance to support its development plan to transform Rwanda into a middle-income state over the past two decades, and has not succeeded, I would argue that any further financing must be accompanied by radical governance reforms. Current governance in Rwanda – that limits political space, lacks separation of power, impedes freedom of expression and represses critics of the government – cannot lead to sustainable development.

I believe I made the right decision to return to Rwanda. My story, and those of others who have been harassed, jailed, forced into exile or worse for challenging the government, are tangible evidence of a lack of respect for human rights and of good governance, and are violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values. Governance reforms should be a prerequisite before Rwanda hosts the next Commonwealth heads of government meeting and takes over the chair.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is president of the Dalfa Umurinzi political party, Rwanda.

The Guardian

How dictatorships manage their image

Authoritarian states deliberately use a number of tools to manage their image internationally, writes Alexander Dukalskis. Creating positive news, distracting and silencing critique, and shaping elite opinion help make the world safer for dictatorships

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Rwanda’s authoritarian leader Paul Kagame Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In 2012 news broke about a public relations contract between a firm called Racepoint Global and the Rwandan government. The contract involved a plan written by the firm to improve Rwanda’s image internationally, including managing the image of its authoritarian leader, Paul Kagame.

The plan is telling. Of course, it includes the standard public relations stuff like making the country look attractive and Kagame a wise leader. But more interestingly, it details its aims to undermine Rwanda’s critics abroad – including human rights activists.

The plan also aims to cultivate journalists in leading outlets to promote a positive image of Kagame, and Rwanda. Thanks to the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), you can look up the plan for yourself.

Soft power or image management?

We often think about states promoting a positive image of themselves abroad through ‘soft power’ initiatives. And rightfully so: they do this a lot. But the Rwanda Racepoint memo is a revealing reminder that states – and especially authoritarian ones with an image problem – do a lot of other things to manage their image. These activities are often ethically dubious or sometimes outright illegal – violent, even.

In his excellent book, journalist Ron Nixon details the methods South Africa’s Apartheid regime used to improve its dire image internationally. These included paying lobbyists, and sponsoring ‘look and see’ tours to South Africa for opinion-shapers. The regime even attempted to purchase a newspaper covertly, discrediting critics as closet communists. Many authoritarian states do all these things and more.

Authoritarian image management

In my new book Making the World Safe for Dictatorship, I try to understand what motivates these efforts and how they operate. Focusing on authoritarian states, I create a framework of what I call ‘authoritarian image management.’

Authoritarian states use a range of tactics abroad to burnish their image and stamp out criticism; in short, they try to make their world safe for their dictatorship.

Authoritarian states use a range of tactics abroad to burnish their image and stamp out criticism; in short, they try to make their world safe for their dictatorship. The idea of the book is to put all these different methods into the same conversation. It aims to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and how different states adopt different tactics.

Authoritarian image management has two audiences: mass publics or specific elites. Further, it can have two main forms: promoting positive messages or obstructing criticisms of the state. Put together, you get four types of authoritarian image management, depending on audience and form.

To study these tactics, I use a range of data, including FARA documents, interviews, case study evidence, and video analysis. I also created a publicly available database of all instances in which authoritarian states threatened and/or repressed one of their own citizens abroad between 1991 and 2019.

Creating positive images

Here let me highlight some examples that have transpired since the book came out.

First, perhaps the most salient example of an authoritarian state putting out positive messages designed for a mass audience is covid-related messaging by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The Chinese authorities have attempted to present the PRC as successful at home in eliminating the disease and generous abroad in helping other countries meet the pandemic’s challenges.

In a recent paper with my co-author Sam Brazys, we analyse the messaging of Xinhua, China’s main state news agency, and find that it portrays China in positive and generous terms. The idea is to portray China’s authoritarian system as capable domestically and non-threatening internationally.

China’s Xinhua state news agency portrays the country’s authoritarian system as capable domestically and non-threatening internationally

Responding to criticism

Second, authoritarian states don’t just try to present positive images to the general foreign public. They also try to mitigate or distract from bad news or criticism.

If one examines Russia’s main external TV station – RT – for news about the case of arrested dissident Alexei Navalny, this mode of authoritarian image management is apparent. He is variously portrayed as an extremist or terrorist (or at least terrorist-adjacent), a stooge of foreign powers destined to be defeated, and yet another example of how Russia is reasonable while ‘the West’ is anything but.

Photo: Mitya Aleshkovsky, Flikr
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to journalists after a trial in Kirov, Russia Photo: Mitya Aleshkovsky, Flikr

Someone like Navalny is a public relations problem for Russian authorities, and his global name recognition means that the government can’t just pretend he doesn’t exist. The authorities perceive that they have to respond to the negative press.

Silencing critique

Third, authoritarian states can try to silence specific critics or groups of critics abroad. This tactic involves what scholars call ‘extraterritorial repression’ or ‘transnational repression.’ Freedom House has recently released a major report and underlying data on the subject.

Paul Rusesabagina
Activist and humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina was a prominent critic of Rwanda’s Kagame government Photo: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Flikr

A controversial and high-profile example is the case of Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the movie Hotel Rwanda as saving lives during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

From abroad he frequently criticised Kagame’s government. In August 2020 he was apparently deceived into boarding a charter flight and ultimately ended up in Rwanda where he now faces a terrorism trial.

A prominent critic of the Rwandan government is now no longer able to voice his criticisms to international audiences.

Shaping elite opinion

Authoritarian states try to cultivate elite opinion shapers to disseminate positive messages to international audiences. Sometimes this is through direct funding, sometimes through access. It may even stem from ideological affinity.

Authoritarian states try to cultivate elite opinion shapers to disseminate positive messages to international audiences

There are lots of potential examples here and many grey areas. One topic is funding for think tanks. In her recent report on the subject, Nadège Rolland details how authoritarian states try to fund think tanks to shape elite conversation on issues important to them. A similar logic can extend to universities.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Authoritarian image management is about more than just ‘soft power’.

Once you start thinking about the multiple methods available to authoritarian actors abroad it becomes important to see them as tools in a toolkit rather than as unrelated to one another.

Alexander Dukalskis

Source: https://theloop.ecpr.eu

37th Universal Periodic Review: UK statement on Rwanda

The UK delivered a statement on Rwanda at the 37th Session of Universal Periodic Review (UPR), sharing recommendations to improve their human rights record.

Published 25 January 2021

Julian Braithwaite
Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Geneva.

The United Kingdom welcomes Rwanda’s strong record on economic and social rights, and promotion of gender equality. We remain concerned, however, by continued restrictions to civil and political rights and media freedom. As a member of the Commonwealth, and future Chair-in-Office, we urge Rwanda to model Commonwealth values of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights.

We recommend that Rwanda:

  1. Conduct transparent, credible and independent investigations into allegations of extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture, and bring perpetrators to justice.
  2. Protect and enable journalists to work freely, without fear of retribution, and ensure that state authorities comply with the Access to Information law.
  3. Screen, identify and provide support to trafficking victims, including those held in Government transit centres.

Thank you.


Ikibazo hagati y’abahutu n’abatutsi bo mu Rwanda nta kugica ku ruhande.

Ikibazo hagati y’abahutu n’abatutsi bo mu Rwanda nta kugica ku ruhande.

Ndashimira Bwana NKULIYINGOMA Jean Baptiste watanze igitekerezo ku nyandiko ya Amiel NKULIZA (Ibihe turimo: Gupfukirana ukuri kw’amateka yacu bimariye iki abayobozi ba «Rwanda Bridge Bulders-RBB»?). Mu gisubizo cye, (Nunganire Amiel Nkuliza ku kibazo cy’imibanire y’abahutu n’abatutsi mu masezerano ya ARUSHA) Bwana NKULIYINGOMA avuga ko abona ikibazo hagati y’abahutu n’abatutsi kitirengagijwe mu masezerano y’Arusha. Ibi akabishingira ko mbere y’uko amasezerano ashyirwaho umukono, impande zombi zari zihanganye (FPR-Inkotanyi na Leta y’u Rwanda) zabanje kwemeranywa ku mahame y’igihugu kigendera ku mategeko (Etat de droit /Rule of Law). Ikinzinduye uyu munsi, ni ukwerekana ko kubaka igihugu kigendera ku mategeko byonyine bidahagije ngo bikemure ikibazo hagati y’ibyo bice bibiri by’abanyarwanda ari byo abahutu n’abatutsi.

Icyo kibazo giteye gite ?

Mu by’ukuri iyo witegereje usanga ikibazo hagati y’abahutu n’abatutsi gishingiye ku butegetsi. Mu myaka yose Abatutsi bategetse igihugu, byiswe ko nta kibazo cyari kiriho kugeza igihe abahutu nabo basabye kwinjira mu myanya y’ubuyobozi/ubutegetsi. Aha ni ho abigiza nkana bahera bashima ubutegetsi bwa cyami mbere y’umwaduko w’abazungu, bakagira bati mu gihugu nta bibazo by’amoko byari bihari. N’uyu munsi wa none, abahutu baramutse bicecekeye ntibasabe uburinganire n’abatutsi hari abavuga bati nta kibazo Hutu -Tutsi kiriho ! Gusa rero aho ibihe bigeze abahutu bamenye ko nabo bafite uburenganzira bwo kujya mu myanya y’ubutegetsi kandi ntibazahwema gusaba ko ubwo burenganzira bwubahirizwa. Iki kibazo rero gishingiye ku buringanire bw’amoko imbere y’amategeko, uburinganire mu gusaranganya ibyiza by’igihugu byose.

Mu gushaka gupfukirana ibyo abahutu basabaga mbere ya revolisiyo ya rubanda (1959-1962), abagaragu b’ibwami babanje kuvuga ko ntacyo bapfana n’abahutu, ko bo ari ibimanuka byaje gutegeka, abahutu bakaba abasangwabutaka bagomba gutegekwa, ko abagabana ari abava inda imwe. Ibi ariko ntibyaciye intege abaharaniraga uburenganzira bw’abahutu, bigeza aho umwami azanye andi mayeri, avuga ko nta moko ahari ko u Rwanda rutuwe n’inyabutatu nyarwanda. Yibagirwa ko ubwabyo iyi nyito yamutamazaga : kuki ari inyabutatu ntibe inyabutanu cyangwa butandatu ? (ubutatu ni Hutu, Tutsi na Twa). Kuri we, gukemura ikibazo kwari ukuvuga ko kitariho bikaba birarangiye. N’uyu munsi wa none FPR-Inkotanyi ni wo muvuno ikoresha. Ivuga ko nta moko ariho, yayavanye mu Itegekonshinga, iyasimbuza utundi tubyiniriro. Abacitse ku icumu, interahamwe, abasigajwe inyuma n’amateka, ni ibice abanyarwanda bumva bakamenya niba uri umuhutu, umutwa cyangwa umututsi.

Iyo witegereje uko ubutegetsi bw’u Rwanda bumeze muri iki gihe, uhita ubona ikibazo gikomeye : Abatutsi ni bo bonyine bari mu myanya yose ifatirwamo ibyemezo, ibigo by’imari n’ubucuruzi, inzego z’ubuyobozi bw’ingabo, ….mu gihe abahutu bakomeje kwigizwayo no gukeneshwa, kwamburwa amasambu n’ibindi. Yemwe no mu buyobozi bw’amadini, ubuyobozi ni ubw’abatutsi !

Uku kwikubira ibyiza by’igihugu ni ikibazo gikomeye cyane gikwiye kwitonderwa.

Arusha yarakirengagije : kubaka igihugu kigendera ku mategeko byonyine ntibihagije

Bwana NKULIYINGOMA yemeza ko ubwo Arusha yemeraga ko hajyaho igihugu gishingiye ku mahame yubahiriza amategeko (Etat de droit/ Rule of law) ubwo yari ikemuye ikibazo hagati y’abahutu n’abatutsi ndetse agasoza agira ati : « Muri make, umuti wari wavugutiwe Arusha ntabwo ari uwo gusuzugura. Njyewe nkeka wenda amaherezo ariwo tuzagarukaho ».

Kubaka igihugu kigendera ku mategeko ntibihagije ngo ikibazo hagati y’abahutu n’abatutsi gikemuke. Hakwiye ingamba zikakaye kandi zidaca ku ruhande ikibazo ubwacyo. Ntushobora gukemura ikibazo udashatse no kukivuga. “Ushaka gukira indwara arayirata”. FPR ntiyashakaga ko ikibazo Hutu -Tutsi kivugwa ni nayo mpamvu Kanyarengwe w’umuhutu yashyirwaga imbere ngo asinyane amasezerano na Habyarimana w’umuhutu, bityo bigaragare ko nta kibazo Hutu -Tutsi. Ntabwo FPR-Inkotanyi itandukanye na Lunari (UNAR) ishyaka ry’umwami, wa mwami wabonaga ko abahutu badakwiye gusaba kujya mu butegetsi. Iyi UNAR (RANU mu cyongereza) niyo yahindutse FPR-Inkotanyi mu mwaka wa 1987. Utaziga amateka azasigara !

Arusha yaravugaga ngo ikibazo Hutu-Tutsi ni kimwe mu bibazo byari biriho, kandi koko byari ukuri. Ariko si ikibazo gishobora kubonerwa umuti ngo ni uko ibindi byakemutse, kuko aho ibihe byari bigeze ndetse kugeza n’uyu munsi ibyo bibazo bindi si byo bituma abahutu n’abatutsi bashyamirana. Muti gute? Buriya n’iyo wafata u Rwanda ukarushyiramo demokarasi, buri wese agahabwa uburenganzira bwe, agakora umurimo yatsinze ibizamini kurusha abandi (méritocracie), ubukungu ukabufungura ( libéralisation), ubutegetsi bugatandukana ( séparation des pouvoirs), ubutabera bukigenga, amategeko yose akubahirizwa, ntiwaba utanze igisubizo gikwiye. Kubera ko kuva abahutu basaba uburenganzira bwabo mu myaka ya za 1950, abatutsi bashyizwemo ibitekerezo ko abahutu babanga. Intambara y’inyenzi, iya FPR, ubwicanyi bwibasiye abahutu, ubwibasiye abatutsi, ibi byose byatumye intera itandukanya abahutu n’abatutsi iba ndende. Ubashyize mu matora asesuye, abahutu batora umuhutu, abatutsi bagatora umututsi, bityo kubera ko abatutsi ari ba nyamuke, ntibazagera ku butegetsi. Aha niho ruzingiye. Abatutsi babangukirwa no gutegekesha imbunda kurusha demokarasi kuko ibakandamiza kabone n’iyo igihugu cyaba kigendera ku mategeko. Hari n’abatekereza bati ubwo abahutu ari benshi uwagenda abica gahoro gahoro tukazagera aho basigara aribo bakeya. Simbona ko kwica abantu ari ugukemura ikibazo mu buryo bwiza.

Ku kibazo kimaze kuba nk’igiti cy’inganzamarumbo hakenewe igihe kirekire ngo gikemuke tugere aho kugendera ku mategeko byonyine biba bihagije. Ihame rya “démocratie consensuelle” (demokarasi irimo ibirungo) hagati y’abahutu n’abatutsi nemera ko ryadufasha mu gihe cyo kubaka icyizere hagati y’abanyarwanda nibura mu gihe cy’imyaka 30. U Rwanda si rwo rwonyine rufite ba nyamuke bakwiye kurindwa, twakwigira ku bandi. Ubutaha nzabagezaho umushinga wa demokarasi y’impanga ishyaka ISHEMA rigeza ku Banyarwanda ngo bawutangeho ibitekerezo.

RBB nikora nka Arusha tuzaba dusubiye inyuma ho imyaka 30 kandi bizatugora. Kwicara mu Gacaca ni ngombwa mbere y’uko abantu bagira icyo bafatanya.

Source: Umunyamakuru.com

Rwanda: Political parties and activists advise the Commonwealth not hold CHOGM in Rwanda.

Allowing Rwanda and particularly General Paul Kagame to host the CHOGM 2020 will only serve as a declaration of the Commonwealth’s indifference to human rights concerns.

Baroness Patricia Scotland

Secretary General

Commonwealth Secretariat

Headquarters Marlborough House

Pall Mall London SW1Y 5HX                                                                                                Email: secretary-general@commonwealth.int

April 2, 2020

Dear Secretary General,

Subject: Rwanda as the host of CHOGM 2020

This letter follows earlier complaints made by different organisations and individuals about the unsuitability of Rwanda as a host of CHOGM 2020 due to its violation of the core values of the commonwealth particularly the respect for political and civil rights. In the absence of any public statement by Commonwealth secretariat about a change of mind on the matter, we would like to reiterate that your decision to nominate Rwanda to host CHOGM 2020 is a gross contradiction to the Commonwealth’s core values and principles.

The Rwandan regime continues to face allegations of human rights violations that are of an extremely serious nature. There are no better reliable sources than the United  States Government, the biggest democracy and key ally of the Rwandan government, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, UN Human Rights Council and Freedom House.

The latest US government report on human rights for the year 2019, highlights among other abuses “unlawful or arbitrary killings by state security forces; forced disappearance by state security forces; torture by state security forces; arbitrary detention by state security forces; political prisoners; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; the worst forms of restrictions on free expression, press, and the internet, including threats of violence against journalists, censorship, website blocking, and criminal libel and slander laws; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, such as overly restrictive nongovernmental organization (NGO) laws; and restrictions on political participation; criminal violence against women and girls, which the government took insufficient action to prevent or prosecute.” As the US report of 2017 point out the restrictions on freedom to participate in the political process denies the Rwandan citizens “the ability to change government through free and fair elections”.

Freedom House report 2020 considers Rwanda as no free country with a score of 22% in terms of political and civil rights.

For ease of reference we shall highlight the most salient cases of persistent gross human rights violations in Rwanda for the past 26 years. They are widely documented by Human Rights bodies, despite Rwanda’s repeated denials. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has always named Rwanda among top 10 countries in the world that have gone unpunished for intimidation and repression against critics.

President Paul Kagame and the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) continue to exert control over political landscape in Rwanda, as political opposition leaders have been intimidated, silenced, arrested, killed or forced into exile. The ruling political party – RPF controls legislative assemblies i.e. Parliament and Senate, through sham elections and partisan appointments. Therefore, President Paul Kagame was able to win an election with a score of 98.8 percent of the vote in the 2017 presidential elections, only possible in totalitarian states. In this respect, the ruling party was able to force constitutional change that allows President Paul Kagame to continue to rule till 2034. For all intents and purposes this was a constitutional coup which should have called for sanctions from the commonwealth.

The Rwandan government continues to limit the ability of civil society groups, the media, international human rights organizations, and political opponents to function freely and independently or to criticize the government’s policies and practices. They are constrained particularly by articles 194 and 204 of the penal code under which criticising government is construed as harmful propaganda to tarnish the image of the country abroad or causing uprising or unrest among the population.

The government appears to use a broad strategy to spread fear to enforce its repressive orders and deter any resistance to government dictates. For example, between April 2016 to March  2017, State security forces in the Western Province summarily killed at least 37 suspected petty offenders, including stealing a goat or a bunch of bananas. The regime continues to arrest and detain people in unofficial military detention centres, where scores of detainees have been tortured.

In July 2018, the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) cancelled its visit to Rwanda, due to a lack of cooperation from Rwandan authorities, making it the first time in 11 years the SPT would cancel a visit. This followed a suspension of a visit in October 2017 due “series of obstructions imposed by authorities”.

The political transition that Rwanda begun after the genocide has, instead of leading to democracy, resulted in the legitimization and consolidation of authoritarian rule. Rwanda is now a very authoritarian regime with a façade of a democracy. As the report of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (2009) rightly points out, “the regime uses the constitution opportunistically as a façade, which hides the exclusionary and repressive nature of the regime; relies on power structures that sometimes run parallel to, and sometimes cross-cuts the formal government and in which the army plays a central role”. Some political analysts have described Rwanda as an “army with a state” rather than a state with an army.

Rwanda holds regular elections, but their outcome is pre-determined because of the legal, administrative and physical obstacles that the RPF has put in place to deny opposition its constitutional right to get to power. There is no meaningful competition for political power between the RPF and genuine political opposition parties and thus no real opportunity to change the government through free and fair elections.

Elections are systematically manipulated and heavily rigged by the RPF in order to ensure a landslide victory. To create a semblance of a broad-based government and Parliament the RPF is usually compelled to “doctor” the results in order to give the satellite or proxy parties enough votes to meet the threshold required for representation in Parliament.

After years of threats, intimidation, mysterious deaths, and high profile, politically  motivated trials, few opposition parties remain active or make public comments on government policies. For example, the openly active party in Rwanda, Forces Démocratiques Unifiées (FDU)-Inkingi) has paid a heavy price in terms of the highest toll of arrests, forced disappearances and assassinations. Its former President Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, was sentenced to 15 years jail after a political trial. Even though she was released under a presidential pardon she is still being harassed by the Rwanda investigation Bureau through constant summons for interrogation about her political life. During the 2019 year alone two members were murdered, and one disappeared in circumstances that led many to believe it was the work of secret services. Mr Anselme Mutuyimana was murdered in March 2019 and Syldio Dusabumuremyi stabbed to death in September 2019. Eugène Ndereyimana, also a member of FDU-Inkingi, was reported missing on 15 July 2019, after he failed to arrive for a meeting in Nyagatare, in Rwanda’s Eastern Province. Boniface Twagirimana, the party’s 1st Vice President mysteriously “disappeared” from his prison cell in Mpanga, southern Rwanda, in October 2018 and is missing up to this day. Several party leaders are still languishing in prison.

Any person suspected of being in touch with members of RNC party outside the country is accused of collaborating with a terrorist organisation.

Opinion leaders from the Tutsi survivors of genocide who have tried to express views different from the government have been put in jail, have been killed or forced into exile. In an open letter to President Kagame in July 2019, presidential hopeful Diane Rwigara, a survivor of genocide too, gave a list of more than 40 survivors of genocide suspected of having been killed by the regime.

– Ms Diane Rwigara, presidential hopeful in 2017 elections, her sister Anne, and their mother were arrested in September 2017. They were charged with “inciting insurrection or trouble among the population” because they had criticised the government.

– Mr Gilbert Mwenedata, another presidential hopeful in 2017 elections, a survivor of Tutsi genocide, was forced to flee the country for fear of reprisals after the elections.

– In February 2020: Barafinda Sekibubo Fred a presidential hopeful in 2017 elections was taken to a mental hospital by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (former CID) after showing what the police consider to be symptoms of mental health problem. In an interview one local TV channel he raised questions as to why people including those who were part of the government are fleeing the country when there is no war in Rwanda and why people are surprised and run to tell the President that there are people fighting the government. The family (wife and 10 children) fear that he could be injected with harmful substances in the psychiatric hospital and end up having mental problems.

– Deo Mushayidi President of PDP-Imanzi and Dr Theoneste Niyitegeka former leader of MDR are still locked up.

– Kizito Mihigo, Rwanda’s most popular and beloved gospel singers, 38-year-old, survivor of  Tutsi genocide, was found dead at a police station in the capital, Kigali, on Monday, 17th February 2020. It is an open secret that it was a murder case carried out by Rwandan security services.

– After the assassination of Kizito Mihigo, opposition politician Victoire Ingabire noted, « I was in prison and spent eight years and when I was released and I thought the government of Rwanda was ready to open up the political space, but one month later, our vice president disappeared, four months later my assistant was killed, in July 2019 our representative in eastern province disappeared, and this year our national coordinator was murdered. Today is Kizito, I think tomorrow will be me, or Bernard Ntaganda or someone else in the opposition.”

Repression Abroad

In May 2011, Scotland Yard warned two prominent Rwandans living in Britain, Mr Rene Mugenzi and Jonathan Musonera and warned them that it had reliable intelligence that Rwanda’s government poses an imminent threat to their lives.

– In September 2019, South Africa’s National Prosecution Authority issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans accused of murdering Rwandan critic Col. Patrick Karegeya, who was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg on January 1, 2014.

– South Africa’s special investigative unit said in written testimony that Col Patrick Karegeya’s murder and attacks on Rwanda’s former army chief of staff Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa “were directly linked to the involvement of the Rwandan government.”

– In October 2019, a Financial Times investigation revealed that Israeli software developed by the NSO Group was used to spy on political dissidents and critics living abroad. The spyware targeted individuals through WhatsApp calls and allowed hackers to access personal data on the phone, such as messages and location.

– Australia’s ABC uncovering allegations of a complex web of Rwandan spies living within the suburbs, creating a culture of fear among the refugees who had escaped that nation in pursuit of a safer life. ABC titled the documentary “Spies in our suburbs, unearthing an alleged shadowy network of spies and their efforts to silence dissent.” Expats and Rwandan refugees in Australia say silencing critics and suppressing support for opposition parties in exile are among the top priorities of the Rwandan Government.

– In 2019, hacking attempts, surveillance and intimidation, the Rwandan government has been accused of putting pressure on opponents and journalists established in Belgium, Le Soir and De Morgen reported on 22nd November 2019. Belgian National security “confirms Rwandan intelligence services are actively engaged in Belgium attempting to weaken what is perceived as a political threat from the opposition” to Paul Kagame’s regime. The justice minister confirmed these allegations in October 2019. Peter Verlinden, a former VRT journalist, and his Rwandan wife Marie Bamutese have been used as an example of the victims of such practices, Belga reports. The couple says they have been threatened since 2015, following the publication of their book concerning violence in eastern DR Congo.

Freedom of Expression

Years of regime interference, repression, incarceration and state sponsored assassinations have left civil society in Rwanda very weak, leaving Rwandan human rights organizations largely unable to publicly document violations by state agents.

While the law guarantees freedom of the press, the media remains tightly controlled by the government. Media outlets are either state-controlled, co-opted or constantly under siege. Most journalists are unable or unwilling to engage in investigative reporting on politically sensitive issues and rarely criticize government policies, because of intimidation, threats, and prosecutions. They risk arrest under a variety of restrictive laws and can face long jail terms if convicted. Many have fled the country to avoid persecution and reprisals, but even in exile Rwandan journalists  have experienced intimidation and even death like Charles Ingabire who was shot in Kampala – Uganda. This has created a culture of fear among journalists and has led to widespread self- censorship.

The Government also intimidates international journalists, for example BBC Kinyarwanda service remains suspended since 2014. The regime censorship of internet content has increased in recent years. Several independent or opposition-aligned news outlets abroad have remained inaccessible in the country, especially those website and blogs which question human rights excesses and regime policies.

We urge the Commonwealth to re-consider Rwanda’s suitability as a host for CHOGM 2020. The Commonwealth secretariat must revisit the conclusions of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative delegation to Rwanda in 2009 on the human rights situation in Rwanda and examine the deterioration of the human situation since that visit. It will realise that during the last 26 years the Rwandan regime has demonstrated that it is unwilling to manage societal demands without resorting to violence and coercion. By providing space for Rwanda and particularly General Paul Kagame to host of CHOGM 2020 will only serve as a declaration of the Commonwealth’s indifference to human rights concerns. It will be construed as endorsing the regime over its role in egregious human rights violations and tyranny.

It is very clear that persuasion alone cannot bring the Rwandan regime to behave in a civilised manner. The commonwealth should be able to set SMART objectives for the Rwandan regime to implement the core values of the commonwealth as pre-condition for holding the commonwealth summit in Kigali- Rwanda. The Rwandan regime must show practical steps it will make to restore democracy, observe human rights observance and good governance.

The Commonwealth Secretariat should set benchmarks for Rwanda including:

  1. Fully restore the rule of law;
  2. Lift restrictions on the enjoyment of all fundamental freedoms;
  3. Respect the separation of powers i.e. the independence of the three branches of government;
  4. Institute effective mechanisms to protect journalists, civil society groups and human rights defenders;
  5. Allow full and credible international investigations into all allegations concerning violations of international humanitarian law in the country;
  6. As a matter of urgency allow an immediate and independent enquiry into the death of Mr Kizito Mihigo.

 

Signatories:

  1. Laurent Munyandilikirwa, Président de l’Observatoire des Droits de l’homme au Rwanda (ODHR) ;
  2. Emery Nshimiyimana, Secrétaire Général de la Fondation IBUKABOSE-RENGERABOSE, Mémoire et Justice pour tous ;
  3. Jean Marie Ndagijimana, Coordinateur du Comité pour l’Unité, la Paix et la Réconciliation au Rwanda (CUPR) ;
  4. René Mugenzi, Coordinateur de Global Campaign for Rwandans’s human rights (GCRHR);
  5. Joseph Matata, Coordinateur du Centre de Lutte contre l’Impunité et l’Injustice au Rwanda (CLIIR);
  6. Theobald Rutihunza, Président du Réseau International pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l’Homme au Rwanda (RIPRODHOR) ;
  7. Robert Mugabowindekwe, President de JAMBO asbl ;
  8. Callixte Kanani, Coordinateur du Comité de Suivi de la Problématique des Réfugiés Rwandais (CSPR) ;
  9. Aloys Simpunga , Initiative HUMURA ;
  10. JMV Nyirimbirima, Chairperson the Global Voice of Rwandan Refugees (GVRR)
  11. Stany Rwandarugari, Rwandan Platform for Dialogue, Truth, and Justice (RDTJ)
  12. Marcelline Nyiranduwamungu, Présidente du Réseau international pour la Démocratie et la Paix (RifDP);
  13. Pascal Kalinganire, General Coordinator of the Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes Region (OPJDR);
  14. Pierre Claver Nkinamubanzi, Président du Congrès rwandais du Canada (CRC);
  15. Nelson Gatsimbazi, Rwandiska föreningen för mänskliga rättigheter (RFMR);
  16. Rugema Kayumba, Norway Sub Sahara Africa development organisation(NSADO);
  17. Celestin Muhindura, President of Rwanda National Forum (RNF);
  18. Gilbert Mwenedata, Président de l’initiative du Peuple pour l’Alliance Démocratique (IPAD) ;
  19. Emmanuel Mugenzi, Coordinator in charge of political matters, Rwandan Alliance for the National Pact (RANP-Abaryankuna) ;
  20. Jean Damascène Munyampeta, Secrétaire Général du Pacte Démocratique du Peuple (PDP- IMANZI) ;
  21. General Emmanuel Habyarimana, Président de la Convention Nationale Républicaine (CNR- Intwari) ;
  22. JABO AKISHULI, Secrétaire Exécutif, UNITED FREEDOM FIGHTERS (UFF- INDANGAMIRWA);
  23. Jerôme Nayigiziki, Coordinateur, RNC-Ihuriro ;
  24. Jean Baptiste Ryumugabe, Secrétaire Exécutif PSI-Imberakuri ;
  25. Etienne Masozera, Président AMAHORO-PC ;
  26. Justin Bahunga, Président FDU-INKINGI;
  27. Nadine Claire Kasinge, Présidente ISHEMA PARTY;
  28. Anastase Gasana, President Democratic Rwanda Party, DRP-ABASANGIZI.

References/Key reading notes

https://apnews.com/a97d40a146284383a717aa2ec42eb39b

https://donordirectaction.org/2012/09/dr-denis-mukwege-addresses-un-on-sexual-violence-in- drc/

https://eastafricamonitor.com/why-are-the-political-killings-and-disappearances-under-paul- kagame-being-ignored/

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/24/africa/rwanda-pastor-daughter-treason-charges/index.html

https://newint.org/features/2004/05/01/congo

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6131516.stm

https://reliefweb.int/report/burundi/plundering-dr-congo-natural-resources-final-report-panel- experts-s20021146

https://rwandansrights.org/un-special-rapporteur-findings-on-rights-to-freedom-in-rwanda-are- unfortunately-characteristics-of-an-oppressive-regime/

Click to access drc_un_report_final_june2010.pdf

https://abc.net.au/news/2019-08-25/spies-in-our-suburbs-alleged-spy-web-silencing- rwandan-refugees/11317704

https://aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/01/blood-minerals-profits-conflict-drc- 160118124123342.html

https://amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/rwanda/report-rwanda/

https://amnesty.org/en/documents/afr47/1600/2019/en/

https://atlanticcouncil.org/events/past-events/nobel-peace-prize-laureate-on-sexual- violence-in-the-drc

https://brusselstimes.com/all-news/belgium-all-news/79862/belgium-a-playground-for- rwandan-spies/

https://cfr.org/blog/alongside-real-progress-kagames-human-rights-abuses-persist

https://dw.com/en/rwanda-gospel-singer-kizito-mihigos-death-likely-a-political- assassination/a-52463272

https://dw.com/en/rwandas-opposition-rattled-by-killings-and-disappearances-of- members/a-50596049

https://hrw.org/news/2012/09/11/dr-congo-m23-rebels-committing-war-crimes

https://hrw.org/news/2013/02/05/dr-congo-war-crimes-m23-congolese-army

https://hrw.org/news/2015/08/27/icc-trial-bosco-ntaganda-alleged-crimes-democratic- republic-congo#2

https://hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burundi0904.pdf

https://hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/rwanda

https://independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rwandan-assassin-sent-to-kill-dissidents-in-uk- 2286712.html

https://iol.co.za/news/opinion/death-in-custody-of-rwandas-kizito-mihigo-reminiscent-of- neil-aggett-43672971

https://nybooks.com/daily/2017/08/04/rwanda-kagame-efficient-repression/

https://monitor.co.ug/News/National/Rwanda-makes-3-more-demands-ahead-of- meet/688334-5462902-9ne2ju/index.html

https://ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/DRCUNMappingReport.aspx#

https://telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/09/24/rwandan-opposition-leader-third-killed-single- year/

umurage.org/featured-legacy-makers/the-man-who-repairs-women


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Kagame’s Prime Minister violated the Constitution, must resign.

Welcome to the banana republic of the RPF.

On March 21, 2020; the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Dr NGIRENTE declared the state of health emergency. But on which grounds and what legal framework was he pushed to do so? The Constitution of Rwanda is very clear on the declaration of emergency, and it is the the President of Republic’s responsibilities provided he get approval of the cabinet meeting. Therefore, what the rwandan Prime Minsiter did is unconstitutional.

Analysis:

Not so long ago, we were talking  about measures against COVID-19 being applied in Rwanda. However, nobody expected to discover that the measures against the pandemic would be unconstitutioanl and legally baseless. A regime that tramples on the laws that it itself has put in place must be treated with contempt it deserves.

Let us recall that:

  • As of March 14, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was declared in Kigali (The Embassy of the Netherlands was aware of it two days earlier).
  • On March 21, 2020, the Rwandan Prime Minister Dr NGIRENTE Edouard released ““Enhanced Covid19 Prevention Measures” to stop the spread of the virus. As such, the country entered a state of health emergency.

What does the country’s Constitution say about it?

The country’s Constitution may contain a lot of inconsistencies, yet, it is the supreme law and no any legal instrument can go against it. On the state of emergency, the Constitution stipulates:

“The President of the Republic declares a state of siege or a state of emergency in accordance with provisions of this Constitution and other laws”. (Art 108, paragraph 3)

And article 136 of the same Constitution could not be clearer:

A state of siege and a state of emergency and are provided for by law and declared by the President of the Republic, following approval by Cabinet (Paragraph 1).

A declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency must be clearly justified, specify the part of national territory to which it applies an its consequences, indicate the rights, freedoms and guarantees provided by law that are suspended and the duration of the state of siege or state of emergency which may not exceed a period of fifteen (15) days. (Paragraph 2)

The state of siege or a state of emergency cannot be extended beyond a period of fifteenThe state of siege and the state of emergency are governed by law and are pr(15) days without approval of Parliament, which requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members of each Chamber. (Paragraph 3)

And article 137  paragraph 2 says:

“A state of emergency is declared on the entire or part of the national territory when the country faces a public disaster or constitutional crisis whose gravity does not warrant the declaration of a state of siege”. 

All that being said and fairly clear, one wonders from where Mr. NGIRENTE gets the authority to declare a state of emergency. Especially two questions arise:

  1. Why was Kagame replaced by his Prime Minister?
  2. When did the Council of Ministers take place to approve these measures?

Article 119 of the Constitution explains the powers and responsibilities of the Prime Minister and article 105 adds that:

” When the President of the Republic is outside the country, in case of illness or
temporary impediment, his acting is ensured by the Prime Minister”. (Paragraph 9).

We already know that Kagame’s private jet landed  and remains in London since March 21, 2020, even if his office did not want to reveal it. Furthermore, gossip on social networks alludes to the precarious state of health of the President, – he probably contracted COVID-19 – which gives the Prime Minister  presidential responsibilities ad interim.

However, there has never been a cabinet meeting to approve the state of health emergency and its respectivs the measures. Welcome to Banana Republic.

In conclusion, the decree of Prime Minister Edouard NGIRENTE of March 21, 2020 relating to the COVID-19 measures, is null and void since it is unconstitutional. He should resign or much better, be prosecuted for his disrespect towaRds the Supreme Law of the Land.

Chaste GAHUNDE


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Rwanda: Kagame’s daughter unleashes “her war dogs” against Ingabire Victoire!

On March 21, 2020; Victoire Umuhoza received in her residence Aimable Karasira, a university professor who also manages a Youtube channel during his spare time. In his videos, Mr KARASIRA carries analyses on social phenomena, and counts many followers.

A gesture of washing hands

Before granting an interview to Karasira, Victoire Ingabire washed her hands with soap, following the example of President Paul Kagame, who in a video, had invited Rwandans to protect themselves against the corona virus by washing hands regularly.

The journalist filmed this sequence before he, himself washed his hands. The interview focused on a unique topic: The corona virus and its consequences in a country like Rwanda in general and in the city of Kigali in particular. Karasira made it clear that he is not in politics, that he does not belong to Ingabire’s DALFA (Development And Liberty For All) party or to Paul Kagame’s RPF. He invited Victoire Ingabire to limit herself only on this one topic in her statements.

During the interview, Victoire Ingabire drew attention to the damage caused by the corona virus to the Rwandan economy. She notably pleaded in favor of small self-employed people (hairdressing saloons, motorcycle and car taxis, repairers of all kinds, vendors at markets, etc.) who saw their activities closed while  tha was their onlys source of income and daily bread. She suggested that the state provide assistance unto them.

In fact, the quarantine measures decreed by Rwanda are extreme since they go as far as the closing of all borders, which will weigh heavily on the supply of essential goods from neighboring countries. Meanwhile, the authorities are asking traders not to raise prices and have even ordered rationing.

War dogs unleashed

Instead of criticizing this proposal by Victoire Ingabire, the presidnt’ daughter, Ange Kagame and her team, via Twitter, launched an action to denigrate the political opposition, focusing on the gesture of washing their hands made by Victoire Ingabire. The attacks were virulent and some suggest that Victoire Ingabire be taken to the psychiatric hospital for examination (1).

Among the eminent members of the team include not only Ange Kagame but also another figurehead of the entourage of the president, a certain Yolande Makolo, ex- director in charge of communication of president Kagame ; Lucy Mbabazi, another important woman in Kagame’s system; or Edwin Mukiza, a lawyer and legal adviser to cabinet offices.

Like father like daughter ?

Since her arrival in Rwanda in January 2010 to stand for the presidential elections, Victoire Ingabire has been designated as the person to be killed by all means. It didn’t take long, and in his official speeches, President Kagame verbally attacked her, calling her a hooligan in particular and predicting her imprisonment. It didn’t take long, Ingabire was taken into prison the same year. The appeals were unsuccessful and in 2013 the Supreme Court sentenced her to 15 years of prison,  for “conspiracy against the authorities by terrorism and war”, inter alia. She was released after eight years by presidential pardon. Recently, she founded a new political party: DALFA (Development And Liberty For All) but her troubles are far from ending. In fact, in one of his legendary angers, the president threatened to have her put back in prison.

It is worrying that Ange Kagame joins his father in harassing political opponents. Young, and holder of American universities degrees, one would wonder what what she has learned from the country pionneer of the modern democracy. How comes she cannot understand and measure the importance of political opposition in a country for the promotion of a true democracy and a real respect for human rights?

Ange Kagame

B. Ndengeyingoma (left) and A. Kagame (right)

But the dice are loaded and therefore it cannot be otherwise. Isn’t Ange Kagame’s husband Bertrand Ndengeyingoma (2) cited in the Panama Papers, an investigation in which the world press denounced the owners of bank accounts hidden in tax havens! The couple therefore rolls on gold. The couple has millions of dollars in blocked bank accounts, especially in Panama. Ange Kagame has an interest in seeing no political changes in Rwanda, scared that she migh lose her colossal fortune stolen from Rwandan taxpayers. If Ange Kagame unleashes her war dogs to silence any dissident voice according her father’s policy, she knows that by the time she won’t be in power any longer, the castle will collapse. When that time comes, it will be “la fin des haricots”!

Jean-Charles Murego

Source: http://www.echosdafrique.com

A free translation from French by Chaste GAHUNDE


(1) This means a lot to Rwandans, since recently another political opponent was sent to the mental health facility and injected drugs in order to silence him. A new strategy to fight the dissenting views.
(2) There are unverfied information that Ndengeyingoma cited in the Panama Papers might be Ange Kagame’s brother-in-law, not her husband.

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Colloque du 09 mars 2020: Licra a menti!

Lundi le 09 mars 2020 au Palais de Luxembourg dans les locaux du sénat français s’est tenu un colloque intitulé “« L’Afrique des Grands Lacs, 60 ans de tragique instabilité ». Un peu avant le jour du colloque, l’esprit de peur et de panique a envahi Kigali. Le régime  en place à Kigali s’inquiétait beaucoup quant à ce qui pouvait se discuter au sein du sénat .

Kagame et ses hommes ont tenté d’infiltrer l’auditoire, mais en vain. Il était trop tard, les places étant limitées. Et puis, une tentative de bloquer le colloque a été lancée. En même temps le président du sénat rwandais s’est adressé à son homologue français pour demande l’annulation du colloque. Une pétition a été mise en ligne pour forcer le président du sénat d’abandonner son soutien au colloque. Ça n’a pas toujours pas marché. Les intervenants ont subi de chantages et menaces pour qu’ils ne participent pas, sauf que certains sont trop forts pour céder.

LICRA s’en mêle, maladroitement

Licra a écrit une lettre au président du sénat pour plaider au côté des Kagamistes, sauf que les maladresse, mensonge et turpitude sans précédent en inondaient le contenu. D’abord, le titre de la lettre : “génocide des Tutsi: le colloque de la honte”. Le signataire de la lettre voulait jouer avec les sentiments en évoquant ce malheur qu’a connu le Rwanda et dont personne n’ose parler et débattre en profondeur. Or, le thème du colloque tournait autour de l’instabilité qui a eu lieu pendant 60 ans! Et puis, délibérément ou manipulé, l’auteur de ladite lettre s’aventure: il commence par créer un prénom d’Adrien qu’il colle à l’un des intervenants, Charles Onana. Et sans vérifier ses sources ou pour se ridiculiser gratuitement ( il y en a qui aiment ça), l’auteur annonce un procès qui aurait été intenté à l’encontre de Charles Onana, soi-disant, suite aux propos négationnistes tenus à la chaîne LCI en 2019. 

Vincent Herouët, de la LCI contacté par LACROIX à ce sujet  met à nu Licra: “nous n’avons pas reçu l’ombre d’une plainte à ce sujet : cette phrase est sortie avec malhonnêteté de son contexte. Charles Onana n’a jamais nié sur notre antenne la réalité du génocide des Tutsi au Rwanda en 1994. On comprend bien dans cet entretien, qu’il parle de la période qui précède ce génocide”. 

A la question de ce fameux procès à son encontre, Charles Onana réplique à Réveil FM International : “n’importe quoi”, avant d’ajouter: “le ridicule ne tue pas et que rien ne les arrête dans la diffusion du mensonge!”.  

Enfin, Charles Onana lance un défi à Licra: “Ils seraient bien inspirés de s’intéresser à la situation dramatique de mon ami Déo Mushayidi, victime Tutsi du génocide de 1994, condamné à perpétuité parce qu’il a réclamé, comme moi, vérité et justice pour les Tutsi et les Hutu. Demandez à tous les journalistes et associations qui ont diffusé cette rumeur à quelle date se tient le procès ? C’est hallucinant ! Ce sont des méthodes de voyous. Le droit français reste tout de même précis. Vous aurez remarqué qu’ils m’ont même baptisé « Adrien » pour l’occasion. Je n’ai jamais vu ce prénom dans mes papiers d’identité. Cela vous donne une idée du niveau de rigueur de ceux qui me poursuivent. S’ils en sont à ne même pas savoir comment je m’appelle alors que mon nom est sur tous mes livres, je serais tenté de dire qu’ils vont jusqu’à nier publiquement le nom que m’ont donné mes parents… N’est-ce pas du « négationnisme » ça ?”

Rappelons que dans le passé le régime de Kagame avait porté plainte contre Charles Onana pour diffamation, plainte qui a été retirée par peur que toute la vérité éclate devant les juges, et le public, ce qui servirait de jurisprudence.

Chaste Gahunde


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RWANDA Govt social media accounts used to “intimidate people” – US Government.

“Government-run social media accounts were used to debate and at times intimidate individuals who posted online comments considered critical of the government,” reads the 38-page report in part.

The report, compiled annually by the US State Department, also says the Rwandan government continued to monitor email and internet chat rooms.

It reads: “Individuals and groups could engage in the peaceful expression of views online, including by email and social media, but were subject to monitoring. There were reports that some individuals were arrested based in part on information obtained from email and internet monitoring.”

As for how much access Rwandans have to content online, the Americans, who are the single biggest bilateral donor to Rwanda, say there is notable restrictions of what we in Rwanda can see.

The report reads: “The government restricts the types of online content that users can access, particularly content that strays from the government’s official line, and continued to block websites.”

In May 2019, the minister of information and communications technology and innovation, Paula Ingabire, announced in Parliament the government planned to impose regulations on social media content so as to combat misinformation and protect citizens.

Minister of information and communications technology and innovation, Paula Ingabire  Musoni was instrumental in establishing censorship against critics.

The government blocked access within the country to several websites critical of its policies, including websites of the Rwandan diaspora.

According to a 2010 law relating to electronic messages, signatures, and transactions, intermediaries and service providers are not held liable for content transmitted through their networks.

Nonetheless, says the US report, service providers are required to remove content when handed a takedown notice, and there are no avenues for appeal.

 

Chris Kamo 


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Rwanda: Ni nde wishe Kizito Mihigo ?

IMG-20200223-WA0023
Kizito Mihigo
Na nyuma yo guherekeza bwa nyuma ndetse no gushyingura Kizito Mihigo, hari benshi batariyumvisha ko yatuvuyemo. Uku kutemera ibyabaye, ni ikimenyetso cy’uko hari abatarasobanukirwa n’ubutegetsi dufite mu Rwanda: ubutegetsi bushingiye ku iterabwoba, ikinyoma n’ukwikubira ibyiza by’igihugu.
Nk’umuntu wafungutse amaso y’umutima n’ay’umubiri, Kizito Mihigo ntiyashoboraga kubana na FPR, mbese nk’uko Imana rurema itabana na Shitani : Imana ntiyaba muri Gihenomu na Shitani ntiyaba mu ijuru. Kizito Mihigo yari ateye ubwoba FPR Inkotanyi kandi ibimenyetso biragenda bijya ahagaragara. Isomere inkuru zisohoka mu kinyamakuru igihe.com ku rupfu rwe urasangamo ibirenze ibihagije ko agatsiko ka FPR ari ko kirengeje intwari Kizito.
1. Impamvu yo kumwica
Kizito Mihigo yaratoboye avuga ibyo FPR idashaka ko bivugwa: ” Na bo ni abantu ndabasabira”. Nta bandi ni abahutu . Mwese muzi ko FPR mu buryo bwo gusibanganya burundu ikiremwa “Hutu” yakoze byinshi byo kubambura ubumuntu. Igikorwa cya mbere ni uguhakana ko babaho mu kiswe ko nta moko ahari, nyamara “Tutsi” ikaba mu Itegekonshinga. Hiyongera ho kutemera ko abahutu bishwe. (bakwicwa bate batabaho?)
Bityo nta mfubyi n’abapfakazi bandi babaho. amashyirahamwe y’abapfakazi n’imfubyi nta muhutu wabonamo, kuko nta babaho! Ibi byoseKizito yarabihakanye kuko ari ikinyoma, bamutegeka guca bugufi agasaba ngo imbabazi akanasiba indirimbo “igisobanuro cy’urupfu”. Ibi yabanje kubyemera kugira ngo akusanye ibimenyetso bishyira ahabona umugambi mubisha FPR yubakiyeho.
Amaze kubyegeranya, baramubajije bati ya ndirimbo ko utayisiba, ati: “sinzayisiba”. Bamukubita agafuni mu gahanga.
2. Gusibanganya ibimenyetso
Mu nkuru za tracts (zidasinye) zisohoka ku igihe.com abishi ba Kizito baragerageza gusobanura ko Kizito yagombaga gupfa ariko bakerekana ko yiyambuye ubuzima. Abamenyereye ibijyanye n’ibyaha bya za Leta (crimes d’Etat) birazwi ko umuntu yicwa bigakurikirwa no kuvuga ko yiyahuye.
Iyo Kizito aba yariyahuye koko, inzego z’agatsiko zari gukora enquête zigashakisha umuntu watumye yiyahura. Kuko ubwabyo gutuma umuntu yiyahura ni icyaha. Nyamara kugeza n’ubu nta cyakozwe. Ikivugwa ni uko basanze Kizito amanitse mu mugozi, ariko ntibavuga uwamushyizemo.
Abazi iriya police station ya Remera muzi uko amadirishya areshya. Iyo bavuze idirishya hari abagira ngo ni ahantu harehare. Reka da! Byonyine ufashe igihagararo cya Kizito, ubona ko asumba iryo dirishya rivugwa. Nta buryo bushoboka ko umuntu yiyahurira ahantu arusha ubuhagarike (hauteur). Byongeye kandi, muzasome ibijyanye n’amaperereza ajyanye no kwiyahura, iyo hari ikintu , (urukuta, ibuye, idirishya…) uwiyahura ashobora gukandagiraho, nibyo bimutabara mu gihe arimo kurwana no kuva mu mugozi umuniga. (Uwiyahura agera aho ababara agashaka guhagarika kwiyahura) .
3. Umurage w’ubwiyunge nyabwo
FPR yagaragaje ko ubwiyunge nyabwo ntacyo buyibwiye. Abahutu baramutse bemeye ko batabaho, ntibasabe ko ababo bishwe na FPR babona ubutabera ngo bibukwe nk’uko bikorwa ku Batutsi, ntihagire umu lideri (leader) wa politiki uvugira ku mugaragaro ikibazo cy’ihezwa rikorerwa abahutu, kuri FPR ibintu byaba ari bala bala. Ubwiyunge bwaba ari 100%.
Kizito ibi yabyitaga ubwiyunge bw’ikinyoma. Wakwiyunga ute n’umuntu utamuhaye agaciro? Utamubonamo ubumuntu? Umubona nk’uwo mutareshya? Abiyunga ni abashoboye kuganira kandi abaganira ni abareshya. Uwo ari we wese wubakira kuri supremacie Tutsi ntashobora gushyikiira urugero rwa Kizito. Kizito MIHIGO yari muri dimension benshi mu Banyarwanda batarageraho, abo byacangaga cyane bahitamo kumwica aka ya mvugo ngo “Imana bayirasiye i Kinihira” .
Umwanzuro:
Abishi ba Kizito barazwi:
1. Inès MPAMBARA ni we watanze itegeko na we arihawe na Kagame. uyu mugore ubu wagizwe ministre w’ibikorwa bya Guverinoma yari umuyobozi w’ibiro bya Kagame mu gihe cy’imyaka 12. Yumvikanaga neza na Kagame, yari azi neza ibyo Kagame ashaka ndetse kubera ko Kagame ahora mu ndege, uriya mugore ni we wayoboraga igihugu.
2. Paul KAGAME: we nta kumutidaho. yifiteye ibibazo psychologique, yumva ko umuti w’ibibazo ari ukwica, abihoza mu kanwa, ni yo hymne ye. Asigaje kwica abamukomokaho mbere yo kwiyica ubwe.
3. Tito RUTAREMARA na MUGESERA Antoine
Aba ni bo bari bafite ijambo rikomeye mu nama nkuru y’Abatutsi b’abahezanguni yabereye mu biro bya Visi perezida wa Senat. Muri iyi nama niho Kizito yakubitiwe, abwirwa ko ari “imbwa ishaka kuvugira abahutu”. Mugesera ni we watanze igitekerezo cy’uko ashobora kwicwa kandi “isi igakomeza igatembera”.
4. Abahezanguni bashyigikiye uyu mugambi harimo Tom NDAHIRO, MUKAGASANA Yolanda, …
5. Inzego z’iperereza n’iza gipolisi zashyize mu bikorwa iki gikorwa
Chaste GAHUNDE
chaste.gahunde@gmail.com