Paris, June 27, 2014
Today, Mr. Boniface Twagirimana, FDU-Inkingi Interim Vice Chair, was stripped off his mobile phones and national ID card, confiscated by secret services, when he went to visit the party Interim Secretary-General, Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, in Kimironko detention facility, where the latter has been detained since April 2, 2013 on politically motivated charges. Allegations of torture targeting FDU-Inkingi detained members have been reported in Kimironko, Muhanga and Mpanga prisons.
Confirmed reports allege that Mr. Sylvain Sibomana is still being mistreated and has been thrown in a cell with no light and without his mattress and blankets. Acts of torture have also been reported against other detainees, members of FDU-Inkingi such as Anselme Mutuyimana and Christian Tuganemungu, both currently held in isolation cells in Mpanga central prison.
Madam Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, FDU-Inkingi Chair, is serving a hefty sentence handed on December 13, 2013 by Rwanda’s Supreme Court upholding the conviction of opposition leader and increasing her jail term from 8 to 15 years. On January 14, 2014, the High Court of Karongi sentenced to 6 years in prison Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, Secretary-General of FDU-Inkingi and Mr. Anselme Mutuyimana. On November 22, 2013, the Nyarugunga First Instance Court announced a two-year verdict in the trial against Mr. Sylvain Sibomana for illegal protest and defamation claim against security staff. Upon his arrest on March 25, 2013, Mr Sylvain Sibomana was severely tortured and was left with a broken tooth, traumatized jaw, bruised head and body and swollen members. Other members of FDU-Inkingi who were previously detained in Muhanga prison have been recently transferred to Mpanga detention facility after a whole wing of the overcrowded Muhanga prison was torched on June 3, 2014.
We are still concerned about the unrelenting crackdown against civilians in different parts of the country. The kidnapping and/or arrest of men, women and children in Western and Northern provinces and in the capital city appear to be a prime example of President Kagame’s regime using the anti-terrorism law to silence the opposition.
The government of Rwanda should stop such an intimidation campaign against opposition members, including FDU-Inkingi national and local leaders.
Dr. Emmanuel Mwiseneza
Rwanda-Intimidation of FDU leaders intensifies
Paris, June 27, 2014