Rwanda after a long absence, she immediately visited a memorial to Tutsis killed
in the 1994 genocide and asked why Hutus who had also died were not remembered.
She then told Hutu prisoners she would get them out of chains.
with genocide ideology and could be sentenced to more than two decades in prison
if she is convicted.
them Tutsis, were slaughtered by Hutus. With the nation still grappling with
ethnic divisions almost a generation later, Ingabire’s case has become a test of
where Rwanda stands in its effort to move past the genocide – and how much
freedom the government of President Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, will allow its
its progress on women’s rights and economic growth, but analysts say it harshly
cracks down on dissent, something Kigali citizens confirm in nervous street
the government’s response showed Rwanda was “far from democracy”.
ethnic tensions, accuses her of risking another slide towards violence with her
than half the members of the lower house of parliament are women; the highest
proportion in the world.
an award in recognition of his work to develop rural health and education
systems and strengthen infrastructure.
another seven-year term. But human rights groups say that under its
serene-looking surface the government has an ironclad hold on power and quashes
rights to change their government were “effectively restricted” and cited limits
on freedoms of speech, media and judicial independence.
Nairobi, said: “Politically there is no space for the opposition or any other
view than that of the government.”
because the country needed an open discussion to promote reconciliation. In an
interview, she complained that she was being muzzled.
you talk about ethnicity, they say you are a divisionist. I think the better
solution is you talk about it and find a solution.”
simply a free-speech issue because Ingabire could incite Rwanda “to once again
explode as it did only 16 years ago”.
operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Rwandan government has
labelled the FDLR as a terrorist group.
but Ngoga said she was seeking to destabilise Rwanda with her FDLR
legacy of the genocide and to get people to pursue the future. But we have not
gotten to the point where our community is educated enough to the extent where
it cannot be manipulated again.”
“speeches that incite ethnic divisions”.
de-emphasise ethnicity. Many in the country now identify themselves simply as
Rwandan, not Hutu or Tutsi.
when I was growing up, I was Hutu. But now when you see someone you can’t ask,
‘Is he Tutsi?’ There is no difference.”
A series of grenade attacks in the capital this year injured dozens of people
and killed two, with the most recent attack occurring on May 15. Police haven’t
said whether the attacks are connected to the upcoming elections.
government retaliation. One 24-year-old Kigali resident said that “tomorrow I’ll
find myself in prison” if he gave his name.
because of its rigid hold on power.
Uganda are afraid to come back and this month asked the Ugandan government for
western Uganda that he was arrested in Rwanda two weeks ago and was detained in
a container for a month for supporting an opposition party. “I was rarely given
food and was beaten often,” he said.
Ingabire receives a fair trial. She is out on bail, but her passport was seized
and she cannot leave Kigali pending her trial on an undetermined date.