Rwanda: Pastor’s daughter accused of treason, espionage


The daughter of a pastor in Rwanda has been charged with treason and espionage after being detained for more than a month.

Jackie Umuhoza’s family insist the charges are fabricated and despite having been held since late November and charged with offences, she is yet to appear before a court. Umuhoza is one of the latest people seen as an opponent of President Paul Kagame to have disappeared, many of whom are later discovered dead.

Pastor’s daughter charged with treason

In late November, Jackie Umuhoza was grabbed by five men as she left a beauty salon in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, according to her family. Her friends and family alerted the world to her disappearance and later discovered that she was being detained by authorities.

Now, the pastor’s daughter faces charges of treason and espionage, offences that carry sentences of up to 25 years in prison.

Umuhoza’a father, Bishop Deo Nyirigira, was a prominent member of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) that seized power after the 1994 genocide. However, the family became a target after Nyirigira began to distance himself from politics and started setting up churches across the country.

According to the family, Nyirigira himself has been detained and interrogated several times by Rwandan authorities.

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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.