Rwanda: Diane Rwigara trial begins after multiple delays

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Former presidential candidate and Paul Kagame critic Diane Rwigara faces trial today after months of delays.

Last week, President Kagame pardoned more than 2,000 political prisoners but the surprise move didn’t involve Ms Rwigara, whose fate remains in the hands of Rwanda’s courts today. She faces charges of “inciting insurrection or trouble among the population” and numerous other charges related to her attempt to run for president in last year’s election.

Rwigara trial begins

Diane Rwigara was originally set to go on trial in May this year but successive delays mean she goes on trial almost exactly a year after she was arrested. Her trial was initially delayed to allow the prosecution more time to gather evidence against her and locate four others accused of assisting her.

Rights groups including Amnesty International and family members of Rwigara say the charges held against her are politically motivated. Amnesty claims her charges of “inciting insurrection or trouble among the population” relate to comments she made at the launch of a new activist group, publically criticising President Kagame.

Numerous supporters of Rwigara have said they stopped visiting the activist and her family members for fear of being harassed by the authorities.

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.