From Radio Netherlands Worldwide
The search of the premises of Rwandan politician Victoire Ingabire on Monday morning in Zevenhuizen, the Netherlands, has shocked politicians in the political capital The Hague. MPs from Dutch parties PvdA (Social-Democrats) and the ChristenUnie (Christian Union) demand an explanation from Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten.
“Of course, the Netherlands complies with foreign judicial requests. But in this country this is a very sensitive case. In the Netherlands we don’t want to participate in political persecution,” said Recourt.
Mrs Ingabire, leader of the Rwandan opposition party UDF, is imprisoned in the capital Kigali, where she is awaiting trial. The Justice Department in Rwanda suspects her of terrorist activities and is looking for evidence.
After the 1994 genocide, Ingabire left with her husband and children for the Netherlands, where they started a new life. On Monday, Dutch detectives searched the family house in Zevenhuizen, near Rotterdam.
Joel Voordewind, MP for the ChristenUnie, is upset. “Why would the Dutch government carry out orders from Rwanda, while that very same government is cutting the direct financial support to Rwanda out of concern for the human rights situation in the country?”
Rwanda and the Netherlands don’t have an extradition treaty, but they are entitled to mutual legal assistance. “A request for a search can be a kind of legal assistance,” says Gert-Jan Knoops, Dutch lawyer and an expert in international law. “The Justice Minister needs to approve every single request.”
Christian-Democrat MP Cortuz Coşkün is opposed to politically-fuelled lawsuits. Still, in this case he exercises much restraint. “Any request from Rwanda or China could turn into a license not to conduct a judicial inquiry. Even if the suspect might have misbehaved. You don’t know what’s behind this search, and neither do I!”
Both PvdA and ChristenUnie will raise questions on the issue in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch
Welcome to Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library