From INGABIRE VICTOIRE Kigali 10 June 2011
Today, the political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, chair of FDU-Inkingi, is spending her 239th day in maximum security. She is again refused visit. 7 party members registered with the Kigali Central Prison security services and were later ordered to leave. This is happening when President Paul Kagame is touring the United States where he is supposed to address tomorrow an audience of followers gathered in a personality cult mega-show in Chicago.
Sources in Kigali have confirmed that about 300 people, including artists and businessmen, were given visas to attend this so called “Rwandan Day” in Chicago and amplify the crowd of fans and adulators shuttled from Canada, the US and Europe on governmental and donors' funds.
Courageous activists, candidates and journalists are in prison while others are languishing in exile. Political repression, serious and massive violations of civil and political rights in Rwanda are common. On 3rd June 2011, Amnesty International launched a freedom of expression campaign in Rwanda and called on President Kagame to allow opposition politicians, journalists and human rights defenders to express their views without fear for their safety. In its oral Statement at the 17th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 7th, 2011, Human Rights Watch reminded that "to continue to build a democratic society", the government should allow journalists and political parties to carry out their legitimate activities without facing politically motivated charges or intimidation.
We call upon the government to release all political prisoners and journalists.
Interim Vice President.