This Friday 27th of May, 2011, Kigali High Court has denied bail for UDF-Inkingi Coordinator in Rwanda Anastase HAGABIMANA and sent him back to prison for further 30 days pending his trial. Last Monday, Mr Hagabimana had appeared in the same court and requested presiding judge Pie Mugabo to nullify the decision of the Intermediate Court to remand him in Kigali Maximum Prison.
It’s the same judge who handled the cases of scores of UDF-Inkingi local leaders and members arrested in June 2010 for allegedly having attempted to hold unlawful demonstrations. Anastase Hagabimana was then one of them. Reports indicate that court hearing will be launched very soon by Nyarugenge Intermediate Court.
Hagabimana had pleaded that the qualification of the offense was false since the police arrested him for inciting popular revolt while the prosecution alleged he endangers internal State security. The accused and his lawyer challenged both accusations saying they were both far fetched and unfounded.
His sole crime is that at the time of arrest he was just found carrying a draft press release and a draft letter to the ministers in charge of finance and trade calling on the government to curve the unbearable rise of food and fuel prices in the country. Besides, none of the aforementioned documents has ever been made public so far.
If that accusation is maintained, under article 166 of the criminal law, A. Hagabimana risks two to ten years imprisonment or a 100.000 RwF fine or both if convicted.
The UDF-Inkingi warns the RPF government that pushing to exile, jailing or killing any single dissent voice could lead the country back to the dark past times it went through and against which our society needs to be preserved.
Brussels, 27 May, 2011
Dr Jean-Baptiste MBERABAHIZI
Secretary General and Spokesperson