Rwandan court acquits Diane Rwigara of incitement charges

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Rwanda’s High Court on Thursday acquitted opposition leader Diane Rwigara and her mother of charges that included inciting insurrection and forgery.

The pair faced up to 22 years in prison for the charges in the case that drew international attention to the East African country.

Rwigara and her mother were arrested ahead of Rwanda’s August 2017 presidential election.
The 37-year-old had declared her intention to run against President Paul Kagame, before she was arrested and detained alongside her mother. She was later disqualified from vying.

The two remained in detention for more than a year before they were released on bail in October 2018.

Before her sentencing on Thursday, Rwigara had expressed defiance, saying the charges were made up.

“I hope to be cleared of all these made-up charges but I am ready for any outcome,” she said earlier this week.

President Kagame won the 2017 election with over 98 per cent of the votes, securing a third term in office and extending his 17 years in power.