Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rwanda: Dutch ambassador visits Rwandan opposition leader in prison

By Sophie van Leeuwen
RNW Africa Desk
April 1, 2011

Dutch ambassador in Rwanda Frans Makken visited Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire of the United Democratic Forces in her prison cell, on April 1. Makken was heading a Dutch delegation of 10 people.

During the visit, which lasted 30 minutes, the delegation discussed the conditions of Ingabire’s detention, the judicial process and the Dutch development aid to Rwanda. Ingabire indicated the lack of independence of the current judicial, the permanent meddling of the government and the impossibility to have a fair trial.

After the meeting, the Dutch embassy contacted Rwandan minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama to discuss technical aspects of Ingabire’s legal case. According to the embassy, Ingabire, who lived for 16 years in The Netherlands, is in good health.

Presidential elections

Victoire Ingabire, opposition leader of the UDF, is currently in prison in Kigali, waiting for her trial. She is charged by the Rwandan prosecution for “association with a terrorist group, propagation of the ideology of genocide, revisionism and ‘sectarianism’. Ingabire returned to Rwanda in January 2010 to contest in the presidential elections, but has been in trouble ever since. She has been in the prison since October.

The Dutch government supports the Rwandan Justice department with 4.8 million euro’s in 2011.

Related Materials:

Cutting Dutch aid clear signal to Rwanda

'No proof against Victoire Ingabire'


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