Unified Democratic Forces (FDU Inkingi)
Via San Francisco Bay View
The Unified Democratic Forces (FDU Inkingi), a political party opposed to the regime of Rwanda’s ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), would like to inform the public that the Rwandan state did not show up on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in Arusha, Tanzania, to defend itself in the appeal case No. 003/2014 brought against it by political prisoner Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.
The Rwandan government accuses the funders of the African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights, namely the United States Agency for International Development (AID), the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) and the International Federation of Human Rights League (FIDH), of bribing the registrar and the judges of the court, as though the court would have no other reason for accepting Ingabire’s appeal application. On another absurd note, Rwanda accuses the court of attempting to damage its human rights reputation.
The Rwandan government further alleges that the court’s judgment of June 3, 2016, which ruled that proceedings in the cases pending before the court would continue, was changed. However, the only changes made relate to typing errors which have been corrected. Clearly the Rwandan government is grasping at straws because it has no rational excuse for convicting Victoire Ingabire of terrorism, encouraging insurrection and trivializing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
Ingabire, an unarmed woman, returned to Rwanda in January 2010. Her real crime, in the eyes of Rwanda’s totalitarian government, was attempting to stand for the presidency against Paul Kagame, the de facto ruler of Rwanda since his 1994 seizure of power.
The Rwandan government also said that the court’s acceptance of Ingabire’s appeal demonstrates its lack of independence and of impartiality. Nothing could better evidence of the totalitarianism of the Rwanda state than its absurdly illogical claim that anyone who opposes its will lacks independence and impartiality.
Participating in a sit-in to free Victoire Ingabire in The Hague, Netherlands, is Ingabire’s son, Remy Ndizeye Niyigena, kneeling to the left of the banner. Ann Garrison, who was honored with the Victoire Prize for her reporting on the African Great Lakes Region in 2014 and attended the annual prize presentation in Brussels again this March, reports: “The young Rwandan Belgians who produce Jambo News told me that many in the diaspora are discouraged about the possibility of change in their home country, but that they will not abandon the defense of Victoire Ingabire. Victoire, they said, is where those who are not otherwise active draw the line and remain engaged.”