Thursday, November 23, 2017

Judgement on jailed Rwandan opposition leader tomorrow

Victorie Ingabire.

Victorie Ingabire. 

By Zephania Ubwani @ubwanizg3

Arusha. The African Court on Human and People's Rights (AfCHPR) will tomorrow (Friday) deliver a judgement on the jailed Rwandan opposition leader Ms Victorie Ingabire.

The opposition politician is currently serving a 15 year jail sentence in Rwanda for her alleged denial of genocide against the Tutsis in 1994.

The communication officer with the Arusha-based judicial organ of the African Union (AU) Mr. Sukdev Chattbar said the judgement will be delivered from 10 am this morning.

Ms Ingabire, the Chair of UDF-Inkingi political party who returned to her country in 2010 from exile to vie for presidency, was in 2013 served with 15 year jail sentence by the Supreme Court of Rwanda.

Initially she was served with a seven year jail sentence for the same charges by the High Court of Rwanda in October 2012.

Her appeal against the first sentence at her country's Supreme Court in December 2013 added her another eight years in jail.

She was imprisoned for alleged number of crimes, including spreading the ideology of genocide, aiding and abetting terrorism, sectarianism and undermining the security of the state.

The opposition leader was also cited for spreading rumours which the Rwanda officials feared may incite the population against political authorities and mount the citizens against one another.

Three years ago, she filed her appeal before the  African Court, contending that her fundamental rights as enshrined in the African Charter on Human and People's Rights have been violated and sought a remedy from the Court.

Rwanda government was not represented at the hearing of the case because Kigali has challenged the independence and impartiality of the African Court.

Rwanda, which last year withdrew its signature on the legal instrument which allowed individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to file a case before it.

In her defence, Ms Ingabire claimed she has not denied the genocide against the Tutsis when she visited a memorial site in Kigali in 2010 but remarked that the Hutus also perished and deserved a memorial site.