Rwanda: Diane Rwigara acquitted of ‘baseless’ charges

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Rwandan opposition leader and government critic Diane Rwigara has been acquitted of insurrection and forgery charges by a court in Kigali.

After spending more than a year in detention, Wrigara and her mother were both acquitted by a three-judge panel who labelled the charges against the pair as “baseless”. Rights groups have welcomed the result, including Amnesty International which said the two “should never have faced charges for expressing their views”.

Rwigara acquitted of charges

Diane Rwigara was arrested last year shortly after being barred from running for president against Paul Kagame, who went on to secure another term in charge with 99% of the vote. Rwigara had publicly criticised the president prior to applying for candidacy in the election but she was prevented from running by the country’s electoral commision.

She was later arrested with her mother and charged with forgery, accused of using the signatures of dead people in her application. After being detained by authorities, charges of insurrection were also placed against her while her family’s assets have been forcibly auctioned.

“I am very happy with the verdict,” Rwigara told journalists after the high court ruling. “I am continuing with my political journey… because there’s still a lot that needs to be done in our country.”

Featured image: Twitter

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.