Saturday, May 7, 2011

Political prisoner Ingabire under greater isolation

Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
remains in maximum security prison in Kigali, Rwanda,
where she has now been more isolated.

Kigali 06 May 2011

Ms. Victoire Ingabire, FDU-INKINGI chairperson and Rwandan political prisoner  is spending her 204th day in captivity in maximum prison today.

More isolation measures are now in force. The party members who visited the prison today were not given a chance to see Ms. Ingabire. The jailers informed that they have orders to follow and that any other questions should be addressed to the Minister of internal Security. 

On 29 April 2011 a dozen FDU-INKINGI party members were chased away by the maximum prison security staff.  Security Minister Fazil Harelimana told the BBC-Kinyarwanda that Madame Victoire Ingabire “must herself submit in advance a list of 5 people prior to the visitation days because the government does not want anybody to disturb prisoners when they are watching TV, reading or enjoying their siesta."  The political prisoner is incommunicado and has no means to pre-screen and shortlist her visitors days before. This is enormously inconvenient and has the direct effect of making visits impossible.

Since January 2011, the defense counsel has not been allowed to take confidential instructions from the client due to continuous and persistent monitoring of their discussions by security operatives. Prompt access has been often denied too. Those persistent violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are seriously compromising all chances for a fair trial in Rwanda. 

We call upon President Paul Kagame and his government to consider the humanity of political prisoners and remove all those obstacles. 

Boniface Twagirimana
Interim Vice President.
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