Rwanda high court acquits Kagame critic, Diane Rwigara

Rwanda high court acquits Kagame critic, Diane Rwigara

After spending one year in a Rwandan prison waiting for the country's high court to decide on her case, Diane Rwigara feared the worst.

A Rwandan court acquitted an aspiring presidential contender and fierce critic of President Paul Kagame of charges of inciting a public insurrection and forging electoral documents.

Rwigara's mother was also acquitted of charges of inciting insurrection and discrimination.

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.

"All charges. have been dropped".

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.

Rwigara and her family faced a series of arrests without specified charges.

Her 44-year old campaign manager, Thadeyo Muyenzi, went missing and has still not been found.

Two days after announcing her candidacy, Rwigara was hit with a scandal as nude pictures believed to be hers speculated on social media.

Rwanda high court acquits Kagame critic, Diane Rwigara

President Kagame won the 2017 election with over 98 per cent of the votes, securing a third term in office and extending his 17 years in power.

The court also said Rwigara's criticism of the government in the press was an exercise of her freedom of expression, guaranteed by both the constitution and worldwide law.

Ingabire leads an unregistered opposition party, the FDU-Inkigi, and she was freed along with several other prisoners, including singer Kizito Mihigo, convicted and jailed in 2015 for plotting to kill Kagame. "So yes, you do pay a price for speaking out in this country".

Kagame is praised for leading Rwanda's recovery from the 1994 genocide and for advances in economic development and women's rights, but critics say he does not tolerate criticism.

However, human rights groups and others have exhausted of his increasingly autocratic style.

He became president in 2000, a post he might hold until 2034 thanks to a constitutional amendment made three years ago.

But today, a court in Kigali dropped all the the charges against her and her mother, calling them "baseless".

"We call on the Rwandan authorities to build on this judgment and work towards developing greater tolerance and acceptance of alternative and critical views".

Related News:



Most liked

US coal consumption drops to lowest level since 1979 | AP business
Only a decade ago, there were almost 1,500 coal plant electric generators in the United States that produced about 313 gigawatts. President Trump campaigned on a promise to bring back coal jobs and lift regulations he said were throttling the US economy.

Lyft beats bigger rival Uber in filing for IPO
The number of shares on offer and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined, Lyft said. The SEC filing escalates the company's rivalry with Uber, which has been struggling with scandals.

Ukraine latest: USA plane swoops on Russian Federation in 'extraordinary flight'
He said the flight was requested by the arms control directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff. "A U.S. This was the first "extraordinary" flight under the Open Skies Treaty since 2014, the Pentagon said.

China’s trade surplus with USA reaches record level
On Thursday and again on Friday , Trump tweeted that talks with China are going well. It would also begin buying products from USA farmers "immediately", the U.S. said.

Leonard scores 36 points as Raptors beat 76ers 113-102
Valanciunas was at the heart of it, grabbing an offensive rebound off a Delon Wright miss and putting away his own layup. The Raptors had their season-best eight-game winning streak stopped 106-103 by the Denver Nuggets Monday night.

SpaceX launches cargo, but fails to land rocket
In addition, this should not distract from the fact that the launch itself went by the numbers. Canadarm2 ) to capture the Dragon spacecraft and attach it to the orbiting laboratory.

Arsenal players filmed inhaling laughing gas
The Gunners lost their first two matches of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign, but are unbeaten since. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shkodran Mustafi also feature in the video but are not seen with the substance.

Hearn: Wilder Must Fight Joshua Next or We Might Miss The Boat
American Wilder has questioned Jack Reiss' count but Reiss says he wanted to give Fury "every opportunity". Fury also confirmed they are aiming to hold the rematch in the summer of 2019.

Floyd Mayweather to hold exhibition bout with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa
Interestingly, no judges will be in place and being an exhibition match, neither fighter's undefeated record will be on the line. I'm going to use my weapons against him. "It's an exhibition match, but it's giving me a chance to do something different".

Fiat plans to reopen idled Detroit engine plant to build new Jeep
Italian automaker Fiat had started buying up shares in Chrysler in 2009 , when the American auto company filed for bankruptcy. Fiat told the WSJ that this focus was due to consumer interest, which has shifted away from smaller passenger cars.

Tiger keen to be US playing captain
Only Hale Irwin has played the Presidents Cup as a captain when he performed dual roles for the U.S.in the inaugural 1994 event. The only time in the 24-year Presidents Cup history that the U.S. team has tasted defeat was at Royal Melbourne back in 1998.

Italian police arrest new head of Sicilian mafia
Italian media showed pictures of the white-haired, bespectacled Mineo being led away by police, his handcuffed hands hidden beneath a coat.

Schools bomb hoaxes: Teenager jailed for nationwide threats
Avonbourne Trust has four academies; Avonwood Primary, Avonbourne College, Harewood College and Avonbourne Sixth Form. The court heard that one of the emails, sent to a special needs school, read: "This is a message to everyone".

California bar shooting: Sheriff's deputy killed by friendly fire
At the news conference on Friday, authorities painted a clearer picture of the events leading to Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. But it was a sixth bullet - one that entered Helus' chest and struck his heart - that proved fatal.

Hostages die in foiled Brazil bank robberies
Brazilian authorities say that at least 12 people have been killed in two attempted bank robberies in Milagres downtown area. Secretary of Security delegate André Costa told Brazilian broadcaster Globo that two suspects were arrested.