Urgent request for intervention on behalf of Adeline and her daughter Diane Rwigara whose lives are in imminent danger
June 24th; 2018, Opinion
The letter that Rwigara’s family sent to the Belgian and American embassies:
Re: Urgent request for intervention on behalf of Adeline and her daughter Diane
Rwigara whose lives are in imminent danger
Excellency Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Kigali – Rwanda
Excellency Ambassador of United States of America in Kigali – Rwanda
Head of Delegation of International Red Cross, Kigali, Rwanda
This letter follows the ongoing concern regarding unlawful detention of Adeline Rwigara and her daughter Diane Shima Rwigara since August 2017 as well as new information from reliable sources prompting us, members and relatives of the Rwigara family, to believe that Adeline’s life might be in immediate danger.
In reference to our letter dated September 28, 2017 calling upon your high authority for intervention in favour of the Rwigara family right after their unlawful arrest and detention on August 28, 2017, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the United States Government for their prompt reaction that resulted in the release of Anne Rwigara, a US citizen and also member of the Rwigara family initially arrested and incarcerated with Adeline and Diane.
Adeline is currently charged with discrimination and sectarian practices uniquely based on private telephone conversations with her sister in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination, in violation of Article 23 of the Rwandan Constitution on the respect for privacy of a person and of family. Assinapol Rwigara was killed after a road accident staged by elements of the Rwandan police as witnessed by Adeline and Anne Rwigara as well as other bystanders on the evening of February 4th, 2015.
As stated in our aforementioned letter, Diane Shima Rwigara presented her candidacy during 2017 presidential elections citing economic, health, and social
issues and denouncing practices of torture and unlawful detention, lack of freedom of expression and unexplained disappearances. Diane has since been under constant harassment culminating in her arrest and detention. It should be noted that since 2003, all five presidential candidates who ran against Paul Kagame’s RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) approval are either incarcerated or in exile. This practice, coupled with the superficiality of charges against Diane, clearly shows that she is being detained for her audacity to run against President Paul Kagame’s will.
Fresh development in the case and from a reliable source in Rwanda indicates plans by Rwandan authorities to take Adeline Rwigara’s life. As per this source, Adeline Rwigara, 58, will be eliminated by poison under the guise of medical treatment. This evil action is to take place during or after a forthcoming transfer of all prisoners from the 1930 Kigali Central Prison to Mageragere Prison, located outside Kigali. If it is done during the transfer her body may never be recovered as it has happened many times in Rwanda where prisoners disappear during a transfer between prisons to never be found again by their families. If it is however carried out after the transfer, it will be orchestrated via a doctor’s injection during a concocted medical checkup.
Although we have no information about the fate reserved to Diane, we fear that
similar plans may be undergoing for her.
It is within this context that we ask all the recipients of this letter to kindly reach out to our family and to take all other necessary measures in order to stop these criminal acts against our family members.
We could only hope for a timely follow up to our request and we thank you again in advance for your prompt action on this important matter.
-Aristide Rwigara, son of Assinapol and Adeline Rwigara
-Rwigass Rwigara, son of Assinapol and Adeline Rwigara
-Family of Emérance Nyirahakizimana, sister of Adeline Rwigara, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
-Family of Siméon Ndwaniye, brother of Adeline Rwigara, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
-Family of Tabitha Mugenzi, sister of Adeline Rwigara, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
-Family of Benjamin Rutabana, brother of Adeline Rwigara, Brussels, Belgium
-Family of Jason Muhayimana, brother of Adeline Rwigara, Brussels, Belgium
- Office of the President of Rwanda
- Honarable Pierre Poilievre, Member of Parliament, Carleton, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- William Gelling, High commissioner of United Kingdom, Kigali, Rwanda
- Nicola Bellomo, European Union Ambassador, Kigali, Rwanda
- Peter Woeste, Ambassador of Germany, Kigali, Rwanda
- Amnesty International, Press Center
- Audrey Wabwira, Human Rights Watch, East Africa Press Officer, Nairobi, Kenya