22 March 2017

Rwanda: Detained Pregnant Wife of Activist to Appear in Court

press release

British national Violette Uwamahoro, the pregnant wife of a political opposition activist living in exile, who was arrested by Rwandan authorities and held incommunicado, will make her first appearance in court at a bail hearing in the capital Kigali tomorrow, said Amnesty International.

Violette Uwamahoro, who lives in the UK with her two children, disappeared in Kigali on 14 February. She had returned to the country to attend her father's funeral. She had just called a family member to let them know she was arriving at the city's main bus station when her phone went dead.

Rwandan government officials initially denied knowledge of her whereabouts, before the police confirmed on 3 March that she was in their custody.

"Violette Uwamahoro was illegally held without access to lawyers or her family for more than two weeks. This is an unacceptable breach of Rwandan and international law," said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region.

Violette Uwamahoro is married to Faustin Rukundo, an activist in the Rwanda National Congress, an opposition group in exile. She has been charged alongside a distant cousin, Jean Pierre Shumbusho, a police officer, with the revelation of state secrets, formation of an irregular armed group and offence against the established government or president.

Violette Uwamahoro denies all charges.

"People who know her say that Violette is not involved in politics at all. Her husband believes that she is being targeted because of his political activities. Her arrest and other cases of arbitrary detentions seem designed to quell opposition voices in the run-up to the presidential elections in August," said Sarah Jackson.

There have been numerous incommunicado detentions and forced disappearances in Rwanda in recent years, often of journalists or those suspected of working with government opponents.

Rwanda

Mobile Phone Subscriptions Grow By 1%

The number of Rwandans using mobile phones increased marginally at the end of July, the latest mobile telephone… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 Amnesty International. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.