RWANDA, Kigali, 25th August 2011
Since her arrest on 14 October 2010 and subsequent preventive detention in “Kigali 1930” maximum security, Madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chair of FDU-INKINGI has never seen a doctor.She has been prevented to have proper medical treatment. After endless requests, the government of Rwanda and the National Prison authorities blamed the delay on the no-show of the medical doctor of her choice who was intimidated and threatened to explain why “jailed terrorists” trust in him.
Today, after two days of insistence to be taken to hospital for emergency treatment, and after they revoked the promise to take her to the medical clinic of her choice, the government hesitated between taking Ingabire to the poorly equipped Kigali Central Hospital or to the higher standard King Faycal unit at her own expenses.
In October 2010, after her arrest and ill-treatment in police custody, they refused to take her to hospital. Only police nurses and another person introduced as a police doctor visited her cell and prescribed low blood pressure tablets;
Since December 2010 she complained about a variety of ailments and other discomforts without any relief. After a lengthy and complicated administrative process of letters between the lawyer and the relevant prison authorities an authorisation was issued but later the government told the media that the Doctor of her choice declined to go. She was not treated and the process was supposed to start anew.
Efforts were engaged by the FDU-INKINGI Interim Executive Committee to book clinic appointments. By two times, the clinics waited in vain and all was refused on allegations of lack of transport from the prison to the clinic. Today, authorities decided at the last minute to take her to King Faycal hospital. They informed one of her colleague to avail moneys to foot medical expenses.
Why are they doing everything to deny her a doctor or a clinic of her choice? Why have they been delaying treatment? Why are they threatening to halt all arrangements if the jailed opposition leader’s colleagues do not pay hefty medical bills?
All her politically motivated criminal trial was initiated and ordered by President Paul Kagame. In a press conference in Kigali on 08 February 2010, the President proclaimed that the opposition honeymoon was over and that Ms Ingabire will be crushed by the judicial. The next day, the police interrogations started. She was briefly detained on 21 April 2010, and bailed out and kept under house arrest. A very strong devilishing campaign was launched to convince the international community and Rwandans that she was a criminal and that there was overwhelming evidence. On several occasions either in Rwanda , either during trips abroad, the President has been abusing his political prisoner.
The fact that this disinformation campaign originates at the highest levels of the Rwandan government was confirmed by President Kagame’s lengthy comments to the Monitor on May 23, 2010 in which he personally inserted himself directly in the legal case against the opposition leader despite the fact that the case will be heard by courts that are dependent upon the Kagame administration for their appointment and tenure.
Key opposition leaders and independent journalists are in maximum security, dead or in exile. Keeping them in prison for politically motivated charges is one aspect, but denying them medical treatment reveals the real nature of the victor’s justice in Rwanda.
How long Rwandans are going to accept this?
Interim Vice President.