VICTOIRE INGABIRE AND THE REVOLUTION OF THE AFRICAN WOMAN By Rosa Estaràs

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Rosa Estaràs

Any social revolution requires leaders who are capable of withstanding the weight of the responsibility they assume with the determination they find in knowing that their struggle is fair and will transcend them, to improve the lives of many.
Victoire Ingabire, a Rwandan opposition leader, brave and committed, has for years been suffering the consequences of having attempted to establish the Rule of Law in her country. As a result, she was detained and incarcerated in a process with no guarantees and fraught with irregularities.
Not long ago, I received in Mallorca the visit of a delegation of the International Women’s Network for Democracy and Peace (RifDP) which denounced the incarceration of Ingabire and created the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Award for Democracy and Peace as a recognition of her courage and leadership when resolving conflicts peacefully and democratically.
From our Europe of liberty and development, I intend to help these women by spreading their cause. And from the seat that the Balearic Islands have given me in the European Parliament, by fostering that European institutions force countries such as Rwanda to abandon their practices that are contrary to the fundamental rights and democracy. For a fairer world, I make it my issue; our issue; the struggle of Ingabire and the RifDP.

Press release 6 years in jail Victoire Ingabire

SIX YEARS OF ARBITRARY DETENTION : INKINGI CALLS THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF VICTOIRE INGABIRE UMUHOZA :

October 14, 2016, marks the 6th anniversary of the politically motivated arrest and detention of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in the notorious 1930 prison in Kigali. Her arrival in Rwanda in January 2010 to take part in the presidential elections of August 2010 sent shockwaves in the political circles of the Ruling Party of RPF. The warm welcome and her first words about equitable justice, genuine national reconciliation and her courageous stand against oppressive practices threatened the status quo.

After a flawed trial, condemned among others by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Foundation Jean Jaures, she was sentenced in first instance to 8 years in prison. On appeal, the sentence was increased to 15 years. Yet, the Supreme Court had invalidated some of the evidence used to convict her in the first place.

Having lost all confidence in the justice system of her country led by an authoritarian regime, she filed an application with the African Court of Human Rights and Peoples based in Arusha, Tanzania. The Rwandan Government withdrew its declaration allowing individuals to file complaints directly with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, only 3 days before judges were to hear her case.

Pursuant to its resolution 2013/2641 (RSP) of 25 may 2013, the European approved a new resolution (2016/2910(RSP)) on Rwanda, case of Victoire Ingabire on 06.10.2016 in which it strongly demands an impartial review of Victoire Ingabire’s case. Victoire Ingabire has been declared a political prisoner by the EU Parliament and Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch consider her trial as politically motivated. It is a very considered view of our party FDUInkingi, that justice delayed is justice denied.

We therefore call on the international community to put pressure on the Rwandan government to release our leader without further delay or preconditions.

Done in London October 14, 2016

FDU INKINGI
Justin Bahunga
Commissioner for External Relations and Spokesperson

Resolution of the European Parliament

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In a second resolution on Rwanda, the case of Victoire Ingabire (2016/2910(RSP)) of 06.10.2016, the European Parliament « calls for a prompt and impartial review of Ms Ingabire’s case, based on facts, in accordance with the law and without any restrictions, improper influences, pressures or threats ; calls for Victoire Ingabire’s rights, including her access to legal representation and adequate food and treatment, to be upheld in prison ».