Press Release (PDF)
Today, the 12th of February 2019, nine FDU-Inkingi martyrs for democracy, in handcuffs and chains on their legs, were ordered to jump out of the pickup at the Nyanza court in the eyes of their spouses, children and friends. Despite the anguish caused by this unhuman and degrading treatment, the absence of their leader, TWAGIRIMANA Boniface 1st Vice President of FDU-Inkingi was heart-breaking. The State prosecutor was to twist a knife in their hearts when asked he brushed aside their question as to why there was no thorough investigation about his alleged disappearance or why was no launch of a national or international warrant of arrest if they genuinely believed that he had evaded prison. He simply said that he believed the story of the Rwandan Correctional Service and considered Twagirimana as someone who has dodged justice.
People familiar with Mpanga maximum security prison know well that it was impossible for him to evade from the prison where he was moved in a very suspicious circumstances away from his co-accused at Mageragere prison on October 3, 2018.
Boniface Twagirimana mysteriously disappeared from Mpanga maximum security prison on the 8th of October 2018. Twagirimana was in the prison for only 5 days and received a visit of his wife three days before his disappearance. She reported that during their meeting, her husband was in high spirits and was hoping to be out soon, following the release of the President of the party Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. According to reliable sources the disappearance was an operation that involved the Rwandan security services in collaboration with prison officials.
There is strong suspicion that Mr Boniface Twagirimana like Mrs Immaculate Illuminee could have died during interrogation to get a confession to pin down his colleagues and his Party FDU-Inking that they were part of an imaginary army called P5. Amnesty International report detailed credible accounts of “individuals being subjected to serious beatings, electric shocks and sensory deprivation to force confessions during interrogations”. The family, friends and his political party are still concerned that he could have died under torture or could have executed for refusing to testify against his fellow members of FDU-Inkingi.
The defence team representing FDU-INKINGI has asked the court to order a thorough investigation on the disappearance of the 1st Vice President Boniface Twagirimana.
The indictment of FDU-Inkingi includes the following charges: the Rwandan prosecution is accusing the leadership of FDU-Inkingi of having violated articles 459, 461 and 499: Formation of an irregular armed force; Offence against the established power or the President of the Republic; complicity in an act of terrorism .They have all been rejected as baseless.
During the hearing the FDU-Inkingi peaceful freedom fighters have also accused the Rwandan government of violating the Rwandan Constitution through the acts of torture , unhuman and degrading treatment that they are subjected to while in prison.
FDU-Inkingi condemns in the strongest terms possible the detention of its members for more than one year without trial and the unhuman and degrading treatment in contravention of national and international law. It calls for their immediate and the unconditional release.
Done in Rouen on February 12, 2019
FDU-Inkingi Commissioner for Information and Communication