Rwanda: Diane Rwigara targeted in forgery and tax evasion case


Rwandan women’s rights activist and opposition figure Diane Rwigara is locked in a legal battle with authorities over allegations of forgery and tax evasion.

Rwigara, who was disqualified from running against President Paul Kagame in last month’s election, was released by police last week. It took authorities more than a week to admit the politician was in their detention and now reports are emerging that she has been arrested once again.


Rwigara targeted

According to Rwigara’s family, the politician was arrested in the final week of August after police raided her home. Ms Rwigara and her family were allegedly held by authorities for a week before they confirmed her whereabouts – despite the rights activist having been reported missing.

Authorities in Rwanda accuse the opposition figure of forgery and tax evasion. She is accused of forging signatures in her failed bid to endorse her candidacy to run against Paul Kagame in last month’s presidential election.

However, Rwigara denies these allegations, insisting she met all of the requirements to run.


Release and rearrest

Ms Rwigara was released last week after authorities admitted she was being held in detention. But some sources from within Rwanda suggest she has been arrested once again – something police in Kigali are yet to confirm or deny.

The female rights activist accuses President Paul Kagame of driving a regime of fear in Rwanda. She was expelled as a candidate to run against the incumbent president in last month’s election with authorities saying she failed to reach the required number of signatures in her support.

At the time, they also accused the country’s only potential female candidate of submitting signatures that belonged to dead people.

Ms Rwigara was also caught up in a scandal during the run-up to Rwanda’s presidential election after nude photos of her were circulated online. She insists the photos are fake and were used as a political weapon to silence her and support for her candidacy.

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.