Rwanda ordered to pay opposition leader Ingabire $61,000

Monday December 10 2018

Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire leaving the Mageragere Prison in Kigali after a presidential pardon on September 15, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG


The Rwandan government has been ordered to pay opposition leader Victoire Ingabire $61,000 in compensatory damages her family endured while she was in prison.

The African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights Friday ruled that Ingabire suffered material and moral injury as a result of rights violation.

Basing its judgment on Articles 27 (1) of the Protocol Establishing the Court and Section 63 of its Rules, the court also awarded the Ingabire $11,517 as reimbursement for legal fees.

Criminal record

The court, however, rejected Ingabire's application to have Kigali clear her criminal record and a refund for expenses she incurred while in detention.

It said it was not in a position to order the discharge of her criminal record since it presupposes that the conviction had been annulled.


She had been serving a 15-year sentence handed in 2013 for inciting revolt against the government, forming armed groups to destabilise the country, and minimising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Ingabire was released in September on presidential clemency along other 2,140 prisoners including popular musician Kizito Mihigo.

Was arrested

Ingabire was arrested in 2010 soon after returning from exile in the Netherlands to contest for the presidency.

Founded in 2004, the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights was established to ensure protection of peoples' rights in the continent.

It was having its session in the Tunisian capital Tunis —as part of the rotational sitting in African capitals.

The court is based in Arusha, Tanzania.