Supreme Court rejects Ingabire’s petition
The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a case filed by Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire petitioning that some articles of the law on genocide ideology be revoked; saying that the articles are unconstitutional.
The chairperson of the United Democratic Forces FDU-Inkingi, the yet to be registered political party, challenged the court to revoke articles under which she was being prosecuted at the High Court in a trial against her where she is accused of spreading genocide ideology among others.
In the petition, Ingabire was requesting the Supreme Court to nullify articles 2- 9 of the law repressing genocide ideology; under reasons that they are unconstitutional.
The accused and her lawyer Gatera Gashabana had told the court that articles 2 and 3 of the law contradict articles 20, 33 and 34 of the constitution guaranteeing freedom of expression. They were saying that the articles are too vague; thus denying the rights to give opinion on the genocide.
Article 33 of the constitution states that “freedom of thought, opinion, conscience, religion, worship and the public manifestation thereof is guaranteed by the State in accordance with conditions determined by law.”
On the other side, it mentions that “propagation of ethnic, regional, racial or discrimination or any other form of division is punishable by law.”
It was against this background that the court ruled that they found Ingabire’s arguments baseless, saying that the scope of the law is meaningful, though it can requires more clarifications in some cases.
“The court found baseless the request to revoke articles 2 and 3 because their scope is meaningful,” said Sylvie Zainab, the presiding judge.
The judge mentioned that the court rejected the requests to nullify articles 4 to 9 on the law repressing genocide ideology and article 4 of the law on war crimes and crimes against humanity, saying that the articles no longer exist in the current code of laws.
Ingabire is charged with genocide ideology, divisionism, conspiracy, planning to cause state insecurity and supporting armed group among others, accusations that he has been saying are politically motivated.
Speaking on behalf of the FDU-Inkingi, Boniface Twagirimana, the vice president, said they were unhappy with the court ruling, though he said that they stay determined fighting.
Ingabire is accused alongside with other four former FDLR combatants namely Major Vital Uwumuremyi, Colonel Tharcisse Nditurende, Lieutenant Jean Marie Karuta and Lt Colonel Noeli Habiyaremye.
Their verdict at is set today the High Court at 11: am.