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25th March 2013 – Supreme Court adjourns the appeal of political prisoner Ingabire

Finally the Supreme Court has postponed to 16th April 2013 Ingabire’s appeal according to the court schedule, hearing dates and court calendar.

The hearing today informed the parties of this arrangement but allowed the co-accused who, at the same time, are prosecutor’s witnesses to present their pleas for relief because the time they have already served in prison is much higher than the sentences they received in the first instance.

Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi Interim Secretary General, was arrested and beaten by at least 5 police officers within the Supreme Court premises. His phone and camera were confiscated. He was taken to Kicukiro police station along with some other members of the opposition, including Mr. Dominique Shyirambere. We don’t yet have the figure of people who were arrested or assaulted by the police in this new intimidation spree.

Police attacks Ingabire’s supporters heading to the supreme court to hear the case of the political prisoner.

Since this morning, the police and other security forces are screening all paths to the supreme court in order to deter opposition members going to pledge support to the political prisoner Madame Victoire Ingabire as her hearing opens today. Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim secretary general and other members have been beaten before their arrest.

This alarming development is poisoning the atmosphere of this kangaroo process. The political trial of the pro-democracy leader Victoire Ingabire in the first instance, was flawed and arranged.

“Amnesty International has documented allegations of torture and ill-treatment of individuals in Camp Kami. The fact that at least two men tried alongside Victoire Ingabire were detained there for months before incriminating her is cause for serious concern and needs to be looked into.”

“The judges appeared confrontational towards the defence and the defendant was regularly interrupted or reprimanded by the judges. Evidence put forward by the defence and the prosecution was treated differently: the defence’s evidence was repeatedly called into question, whereas basic questions in relation to the prosecution’s evidence were not asked”, said today Amnesty International in the publication “Justice in jeopardy:the first instance trial of Victoire Ingabire”.