Diane Rwigara, a commentator of veteran Rwandan president Paul Kagame, was cleared by Rwanda’s high court on Thursday of charges that included inciting insurrection and forging of documents.
The 37-year-old accountant has over and over blamed Kagame of stifling dissent and reprimanded his Rwandan Patriotic Front’s resolute grasp on power since it assumed control after ending the country’s 1994 genocide.
Her endeavour to stand against Kagame in the nation’s last presidential poll in August a year ago was obstructed after she was accused of not submitting enough supporters’ signatures and that part of those she submitted were forged.
“Court rules that Diane Rwigara is innocent,” Xavier Ndahayo, one of a panel of three judges, told a packed courtroom in the capital Kigali.
Rwigara’s mother was also acquitted of charges of inciting insurrection and discrimination.
“I am very happy with the court decision. I am continuing with my political journey …everything I talked about in the past has not been resolved. There are still many political prisoners in the country,” Diane Rwigara said after the ruling.
On Wednesday, a group of US Congress members called on the Rwandan government to drop charges against Rwigara.
Kagame has won international praise for presiding over a peaceful and rapid economic recovery in Rwanda since the genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
But he has also faced mounting criticism for what human rights groups say are widespread abuses, a muzzling of independent media, and suppression of political opposition.