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Africa News (File photo) / Diane Rwigara
Rwandan opposition activist, and long-time critic of President Paul Kagame, Diane Rwigara, is to face insurrection charges which could lead to 15 years in jail if she is convicted.
Rwigara, who has been in detention since her arrest on September 23, also faces forgery charges. Her mother and sister are also in detention and face criminal charges.
Justin Nkusi, a spokesperson for Rwanda’s public prosecutor, said a case had been “officially” filed in court against Rwigara and a hearing date was awaited.
Critics, however, allege the charges are trumped up as part of Kagame’s repression of political opponents and follow Rwigara’s record of criticising Kagame’s human rights record. Rwigara, a former women’s rights activist, attempted to run for the presidency in August but was disqualified.
The forgery charges relate to Rwanda’s electoral commission claiming Rwigara had turned in signatures of some people who had long been dead and others who belonged to a rival political party – charges she has vociferously denied.
Earlier, in an interview, she conceded that running against one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders came with significant risks but said ending the silence was important.
Rwanda has become the darling of the West following Kagame’s takeover in the wake of 1994’s brutal genocide of more than 800 000 Tutsi, and Hutu moderates, at the hands of the Interahamwe Hutu militia.Source: ANA