12th March 2012 – High Court suspends debates on genocide allegations until constitutionality ruling

On 12 March 2012, the political trial of the opposition leader Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza resumed. The High Court decided to suspend all debates related to genocide ideology in this case until the Supreme Court rules on the defendant petition to nullify the controversial law.

The hearing is continuing on charges which the Prosecutor suggests amounts to recruitment into an armed force, complicity in terrorist acts and willingly disseminating rumors aimed at inciting the public against the existing leadership.

The High Court decision resulted from a last week petition to the Supreme Court by Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza to review the constitutionality of the LAW N°18/2008 OF 23/07/2008 RELATING TO THE PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE IDEOLOGY.

About 200 people from all the folks attended the hearing, and some of them wore pink, a symbol of the prison uniform in solidarity with all Rwandan political prisoners.

This is happening amidst fresh disappearances of opposition leaders in Rwanda. The Parti Social IMBERAKURI informed the public in a press release dated 10 March 2012 that Mr. Jean Baptiste ICYITONDERWA, Party Secretary in charge of mobilisation, was kidnapped by security personnel since 07 March 2012. His whereabouts are still unknown.

In Rwanda, the fate of abducted political leaders has always been extremely worrying, especially since 14 July 2010 when the body of the late André KAGWA RWISEREKA, the then Vice President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda was found beheaded. The international community demanded justice for the assassination but nothing happened until now, two years later.