Rwandan Dissident 'not Guilty' Of Inciting Insurrection

Clay Curtis
December 8, 2018

I am continuing with my political journey ...everything I talked about in the past has not been resolved.

Since Rwigara's arrest past year, her brothers and sister have been interrogated, family assets have been forcibly auctioned to pay off a multi-million dollar tax claim, while a hotel the family owned was demolished for allegedly failing to abide by city guidelines.

The 37-year-old Rwigara, who had denounced the charges as politically motivated, had faced 22 years in prison if convicted.

In Thursday's ruling, the high court judges said the prosecution failed to prove that Ms Rwigara had personally forged supporters' signatures and ruled that her criticism of the government during press conferences was protected by freedom of speech in both the constitution and global law.

Her mother, Adeline, was also acquitted of charges of inciting violence and conspiring to incite an insurrection.

USA senators in recent days urged the Rwandan government to drop the charges against her.

She launched an activist group called the People Salvation Movement to challenge the Kagame regime to ensure human rights.

But it added: "We condemn all attempts by external actors to inappropriately influence judicial processes in Rwanda".

Six killed, dozens hurt in stampede at Italian nightclub
A teenager said he discovered that at least one of the emergency exits was locked when he tried to flee. A further 14 people are said to be seriously injured, with as many as 100 people injured in total.

The charges were brought against Diane Rwigara on 23 September 2017 and were based on public comments she made that were critical of the Rwandan state.

Some Rwandans in the capital, Kigali, said they were shocked by the court's decision.

Speaking to The Associated Press ahead of her court appearance, Rwigara remained defiant, saying no amount of pressure will silence her.

Kagame has been Rwanda's de facto leader since 1994 when his rebel forces invaded and stopped the genocide that killed at least 800,000 mostly ethnic Tutsis and seized power. His government rejects such accusations.

Meanwhile, she and her mother spent more than a year in prison before their release on bail in October.

Her attempt to stand against Kagame in the country's last presidential poll in August past year was blocked after she was accused of not submitting enough supporters' signatures and that some of those she submitted were forged.

It also ruled that although the documents presented to the national electoral commission had indications of forged signatures, it was upon the prosecution to prove that she personally meant to forge the signatures, which it did not.

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