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Africa

Opposition leader arrested on 'genocide denial' charges

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-21

Rwandan presidential hopeful Victoire Ingabire (pictured) was arrested Wednesday on charges of denying the 1994 genocide, according to a judicial official. Ingabire is the head of the opposition United Democratic Forces party.

AFP - Rwandan opposition leader and presidential hopeful Victoire Ingabire was arrested Wednesday on charges of denying the 1994 genocide and "collaborating with a terrorist organisation", an official said.
  
"She was arrested today in Kigali. She is accused of collaborating with a terrorist organisation, dividing the population, denying and downplaying the genocide," a judicial official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
  
Ingabire, who is to challenge President Paul Kagame in an August election, is the head of the United Democratic Forces (FDU), a party formed in exile but not yet registered.
  
Last month she was prevented from leaving the country because she was under police investigation.
  
"We are suspecting her of having committed serious crimes," police spokesman Eric Kayiranga said. "We have sufficient evidence to begin prosecution."
  
She is also accused of links with the Rwandan Hutu rebels operating in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Rwanda, and who Kigali has repeatedly accused of taking part in the genocide that claimed some 800,000 lives.
  
The FDU leader was to be handed to over the prosecutor later Wednesday to press the charges.
  
Ingabire, a Hutu, returned to the country on January 16 and called for the trial of those responsible for the death of Hutus in the 1994 genocide in which some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis, were killed.
  
Those remarks, according to the government, amounted to denying the 1994 massacre and Ingabire has since been repeatedly questioned by the police.
  
Authorities are yet to register her FDU party and she has accused the officials of trying to lock her out of presidential polls set for August.
  
In February, her colleague Joseph Ntawangundi was arrested to serve a sentence handed down in absentia in 2007 by the local court trying genocide suspects.
  
The FDU, which operates out of the Netherlands, has also complained about repeated harassment ahead of the elections in which President Paul Kagame is expected to seek re-election.
 

Date created : 2010-04-21

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