Rwandan former opposition leader seeks restoration of her rights

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Rwanda’s former opposition leader, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, has filed a case before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) seeking a re-establishment of her civic rights, including the right to stand in the next elections.

She is contesting the Rwandan state’s refusal to restore her civic rights, following a High Court ruling in Rwanda, in March- denying her application for rehabilitation following a 15-year sentence, which ended in 2018 due to a presidential pardon.

The court ruling prevents her from recovering her civic rights, including the right to travel out of Rwanda and to participate in any elections in the country. Ingabire has lamented political restriction in Rwanda.

“In Rwanda, we have a problem of restriction to political activity- if you take a look to the presidential elections since 2003- in Rwanda there’s been arrests of all candidates, or even opposition figures who could have competed with President Kagame were arrested. So today, there are only two- persons who are allowed to compete with President Kagame.”