Kagame critic in court


A critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame will appear in court charged with inciting insurrection and forgery, the prosecutor’s office said.

Diane Shima Rwigara, a 35-year-old accountant, is the latest Kagame political opponent to face criminal charges. She was barred from contesting the presidency in an August election he won with 98.8% of the vote.

She repeatedly accused him of stifling dissent and criticised his Rwandan Patriotic Front’s tight grip on the country since it fought its way to power to end a genocide that killed more than 800,000 people in 1994.
“The Court will examine the serious grounds justifying provisional detention of the suspects,” the prosecutor’s office said on Twitter. The office noted the other suspects to appear are Rwigara’s mother Adeline and sister Anne.

The three women have been in detention for around two weeks. They were first taken from their home in the Rwandan capital on August 30 on tax evasion allegations related to the family’s tobacco company. That charge was not listed in those filed on Tuesday.

Kagame has been widely praised for restoring stability in Rwanda and presiding over a rapid economic recovery after the genocide in the East African nation.

But human rights groups say he muzzles independent media and suppresses potential democratic opponents. Some critics have been imprisoned or killed.

Rwanda last month charged another opposition official and eight others with forming an armed group and seeking to overthrow government.
“With each arrest in Rwanda, fewer and fewer people will dare to speak out against state policy or abuse,” read a Human Rights Watch report.