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Embattled Rwandan Green Party allowed to begin registration process

p Frank HabinezaNews of Rwanda reports:

Following various attempts to hold a founding congress, the yet-to-be registered Democratic Green party has been granted permission to do so.

According to a statement by the party President Frank Habineza the party got the permission from the Gasabo District authorities.

“We had submitted a new request to the District Mayor on 5th June 2013, explaining measures taken to move the party registration process forward,” said Habineza Continue Reading

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Calls mount for independent autopsy of slain Rwandan Green Party leader

The Christian Science Monitor reports on calls for investigation of the murder of Rwandan Democratic Green Party Vice President Andre Kagwa Rwisereka:

Rwanda’s election season is in full swing and prominent critics of President Paul Kagame are turning up dead ahead of the Aug. 9 vote. Are the killings politically motivated?

That possibility has United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concerned enough that he has urged Mr. Kagame’s government to conduct a full investigation into the latest death: that of Democratic Green Party vice chairman Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, who was found last week nearly decapitated.

But the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that an autopsy is needed after conflicting police statements have muddied the waters. Continue Reading

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US Green Party condemns assassination of Rwandan Green Party leader

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States expressed shock and sadness over news of the barbaric killing of André Kagwa Rwisereka, Vice President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (http://www.rwandagreendemocrats.org).  Mr. Rwisereka’s body, discovered July 14 after he was missing for several days, showed evidence of murder.

US Greens have joined Green Parties around the world in extending their sincere condolences to Mr. Rwisereka’s family and community and the Rwandan Green Party.

Green Party leaders are calling on the Obama Administration to support a full investigation of this murder and the deeply disturbing allegations that André Kagwa Rwisereka’s assassination was politically motivated, tied to the current political leadership of the Rwandan government of President Paul Kagame and his ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RFP), which has close ties to the US.  The Kagame government has consistently prevented Greens and other opposition parties from freely registering as political parties. Continue Reading

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Vice President of Rwandan Democratic Green Party murdered

In an article written by San Francisco Green Ann Garrison, San Francisco Bay View is reporting the murder of Rwandan Democratic Green Party vice-president Andrei Kagwa Rwisereka. Garrison writes that Rwisereka was

found dead, his head almost completely severed from his body, in the wetlands of the Makula River near Butare, Rwanda, on the morning of July 14, 2010.

The Rwandan Greens have tried to find a place in civil and political life in Rwanda, but the government of President Paul Kagame has made that participation almost impossible. Reports from Greens in Rwanda make mention of armed thugs breaking up meetings, police and political figures refusing to allow Greens to register their party and ignoring requests for investigations of violence done to Green leaders and their supporters. Non-violent representatives of other political parties have suffered similarly, and arrests and detentions for long stretches appear to be a tool of repression. Continue Reading

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Rwandan Green Party calls on government to end pre-election violence

Voice of America reports from Rwanda:

The leader of the opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has called on President Paul Kagame’s government to help end the escalating violence ahead of the general elections scheduled for August this year.

Frank Habineza said the period leading up to the election is contributing to the ongoing violence.

Habineza’s comments follows last week’s shooting death of Leonard Rugambage, acting editor of the banned Umuvugizi independent newspaper in the capital, Kigali. Continue Reading

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Minnesota Greens condemn Rwanda’s arrest of MN attorney Peter Erlinder

The Green Party of Minnesota joins human rights advocates and people of good will across the world to call on the U.S. government, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations to prevail upon Rwanda to release Peter Erlinder immediately. We applaud his defense of the human and civil rights of Rwanda presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire, who was charged in April, 2010, with the same crime of which Erlinder is accused — genocide denial.

Ingabire’s party, the United Democratic Front (FDU), works closely with the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, within the Consultative Council of Opposition Parties. Both parties have suffered governmental persecution and severe limitations on their ability to organize. Continue Reading

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New York Times reports on Rwanda’s repression of Greens, political dissenters

Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times has written an article entitled “Seeking order, Rwanda pursues dissenters and the poor” that describes how the ruling Rwandan regime has persecuted political dissenters, including the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda.

Charles Kabanda used to be a leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the Tutsi-dominated ruling party, but split with it in the late 1990s, he said, because “they were ruthless.”He recently worked with the Green Party, but said it had been repeatedly blocked from competing in the elections. Government officials said the Green Party failed to meet requirements like getting 200 valid signatures from all over Rwanda. Mr. Kabanda simply shook his head.

“ ‘Enemy, enemy, enemy’ — that’s what they call anyone who thinks differently,” he said. “This government’s record is dreadful. It’s only you, the international community, who is showering them with flowering praise.”

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Amnesty International calls for end to intimidation of Rwandan opposition parties

On 2/18/10, Amnesty International released a statement condemning intimidation of opposition parties, including the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and urging Rwandan president Paul Kagame to “use the elections as an opportunity to show the government’s commitment to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”

Amnesty International has strongly condemned a worrying attack on a Rwandan opposition group as the country prepares for presidential elections in August 2010. Continue Reading

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Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and 2010 election

In a story posted to Digital Journal California Green Ann Garrison writes about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the influence memories of that time will have on elections to be held in that nation in 2010.

U.S., UK, and their allies justify their military support of Rwanda with the genocide narrative that identifies Rwanda as the Israel of Africa and its Tutsi population as the Jews, who deserve special protection because they have suffered a holocaust. The hero of this narrative is Rwandan President Paul Kagame, described as the extraordinary leader who has led Rwandas in their rise from the ashes of genocide, to swear, like the Israelis, “Never again.”……To register and get a ballot line in Rwanda, a party must first convene, and the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has now tried to convene five times, only to be met with bureaucratic obfuscation and, on October 30th, violence. Their members have been harassed and arrested.

The full text of the report is below the fold, but does not include links and photos at the original story. Continue Reading