Rwanda Pardons Over 2,000 Including Opposition Figure
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has decided to exercise mercy in his third term as president and has pardoned over 2,000 prisoners. Those released include Kizito Mihigo, a singer who was imprisoned for plotting to kill President Kagame, and opposition figure Victoire Ingabire.
Victoire Ingabire, a member of the FDU-Inkingi party, considered her imprisonment to be largely political as she was a leading critic of President Kagame. Officially, she was imprisoned for threatening state security and belittling genocide. Ingabire, herself a Hutu, had questioned why the 1994 massacre by extremist Hutus of 800,000 people did not include Hutus.
Most of those killed were Tutsis, though some moderate Hutus were also killed. Johnston Businge, Justice Minister, told Reuters, “There is nothing political about her release – there is nothing political about her imprisonment.”
Upon release, Ingabire was thankful and remarked, “There is hope for the opening of the political space,” saying that she “would also ask him to release other political prisoners who remain here.” Ingabire gets to walk away having served six years of her 15-year sentence. She does so dressed in the red and green colors of her party.
Caiman Cotton is a Lead Contributor for theDailyLead.