No European Union access to jailed leader Victoire Ingabire

Saturday September 24 2016

A delegation from the European Union Parliament was denied access to jailed opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, due to what the government said was absence of a formal request.

Iraxte Garcia Perez, chair of the EU Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, said the delegation sought to know Ingabire’s situation in prison.

“We have not received any formal request from the EU delegation to visit Victoire Ingabire,” said Hillary Sengabo, spokesperson of the Rwanda Correctional Services.

In May 2013, the European Parliament called for a fair trial for Ms Ingabire when her case was being heard at the Rwandan Supreme Court. The MPs claimed that her first trial, which led to an eight-year sentence, was politically motivated and did not meet international judicial standards.

The visit by the committee comes soon after the treasurer of Ingabire’s party, the United Democratic Forces FDU-Inkingi, was arrested and charged with inciting public insurrection. Léonille Gasengayire was arrested on August 23 in Rutsiro district.