European Greens, others, pressure Rwanda to end supression of Greens there

Over at World News Journal, David B posted the letter, which is copied in full bellow the fold.

The Greens/European Free Alliance MEPs Demand EU Action to End Rwanda’s Oppression of Opposition Parties.
8 March 2010

To: Mr José Manuel Barroso,
President of the European Commission

Baroness Catherine Ashton,
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security

Re: Political Tensions in Rwanda and Threats to Green Party Personnel

Dear President Barroso,

Dear Baroness Ashton,

We are becoming increasingly concerned about the obstructions that are being placed
in the path of the Rwandan Greens and other opposition Parties ahead of the Presidential elections due to be held in August. We also have fears for the personal
security of one of our Green colleagues in Rwanda.

Other opposition leaders are also being intimidated. Ms. Victoire Ingabire,
Chairperson of the UDF-INKINGI who recently returned from exile in The Netherlands, is reportedly under Rwandan police investigation.

Persistent attempts by the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda to obtain the necessary
permission to register the Party with the national authorities have been repeatedly
blocked by a mixture of bureaucratic obstructions and anonymous threats of violence.
The President of the party, Mr. Frank Habineza has recently received death threats, with reports in a local newspaper stating he will be killed within 60 days. A copy is attached with an unofficial translation. He has been obliged to write an open letter to the Minister of Internal Security seeking assurances for his safety.

Green MEPs raised these matters with the Commission in the EP Development
Committee and were assured that the EU Mission in Rwanda was aware of the situation and would continue to monitor the situation. However, and especially in view of the very recent threat to Mr Habineza’s life, we would like to urge you to ask the Mission to give much higher priority to these problems. We would like you, on behalf of the EU, to express to the Rwandan government the need for a guaranteed political space for opposition voices, free from intimidation, with appropriate protection from security forces for individual party activists.

We look forward to your urgent acknowledgement that you have taken action on this

Yours sincerely,

Rebecca Harms
Co-president of the Green/Efa Group

Daniel Cohn Bendit
Co-president of the Green/Efa Group

Monica Frassoni
European Green Party Co-spokesperson

Philippe Lamberts
European Green Party Co-spokesperson

Rue Wiertz, 1047 Belgium
Tel.: +32-2-2843045 • Fax.: +32-2-2307837
Allée du printemps • B.P. 1024 • 67070 Strasbourg cedex, France
• Tel.: +33-3-88175880 • Fax.: +33-3-88352777

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