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Jul-13-2011 17:03TweetFollow @OregonNews
The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda Remembers their Slain Vice President one year laterJennifer Fierberg, MSW Salem-News.com
“Your memory is always alive in my mind. RIP brother.” - Didas Gasana, close, personal friend of Mr. Rwisereka
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - A news release just issued from Rwanda states:
One Year Later: Our Slain Vice President Andre Kagwa Rwisereka’s Killers Have Not Faced Justice. Today July 13th 2011, marks one year since our slain First Vice President Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, went missing and his body found decapitated the next day, in Butare, Rwanda.
One year later, no one has been brought to justice. The prosecution Authority stated “insufficient evidence to press any charges”. We call upon the Rwandan Government to expedite the investigations and bring to justice all those responsible.
Memorial services will be held this week in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada and Rwanda.
The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda is anxious to see that those who perpetrated the July 13 heinous act face justice.
“Andre, the best thing i can do for you to rest in peace is to bring to justice those who took you away from us and as well, carry on your dream. These two will inform my life. I may have gone before you, or I may follow you, but as long i am alive, I will carry your struggle to a next step. We knew each other since 2003 and I would say I played a significant role in the path you chose. You are a martyr of democracy and liberty. Your memory is always alive in my mind. RIP brother.”
Issued shortly after Mr. Rwisereka’s body was found, Human Rights Watch (HRW) report detailed the tragic events: On July 14, police were alerted to a body that had been found by local farmers and confirmed that it was Rwisekera. His head had been severed almost entirely and his face showed signs of beatings. The police said his left arm was injured and his left leg broken. Others who saw the body reported to HRW that it was covered with dozens of marks. In statements to the media, the police spokesman rejected claims by the Green Party that Rwisereka’s body showed signs of torture. A large butcher’s knife was found at the scene, according to police.
An investigation conducted by HRW revealed that Rwisereka’s body was found only one kilometer away from his car, not “three” kilometers as stated by the police spokesman. Police told HRW that there was a great deal of blood at the scene. However, when Human Rights Watch visited the scene the day after the body was found, there was little blood to be seen. The blood was located in a single spot which roughly matched the size of Rwisereka’s head, and the body was on a steep slope, suggesting that Rwisereka may have been killed elsewhere.
The police initially stated to the media that Rwisereka had been the victim of a robbery, and that people who had seen him on the night he disappeared claimed that he was carrying a large sum of money. However, further investigations by HRW and others revealed that he had left some money with a relative on the evening of July 14, but had been carrying little money and no valuables at the time of his death.
This horrific tragedy remains an unsolved crime and to date, has not and is not being investigated.
During the summer of 2010, Rwanda was preparing for their presidential election and much of the country was in confusion due to opposing political groups not being allowed to register; for a free and fair election. Journalists were being murdered, arrested and/or forced into exile in order to remain alive.
The country, outwardly, was appearing to be in control and supporting the current President for re-election but behind the scenes there was much knowledge of a lack of political space open to opposition groups and reporting on such topics found one locked in a prison cell or in the morgue. Sadly, the latter was the fate of Mr. Rwisereka.
The lack of justice in this case has left many supporters of Mr. Rwiserkera as well as supporters of the Green party shocked and saddened. The lack of integrity and compassion by authorities to investigate a crime of this nature is troubling but, unfortunately, not an uncommon instance.
In a statement to The Proxy Lake (www.proxylake.com) in 2010 Mr. Rwiserkera’s son stated the following about his father:
“First I would like to stress that he was a father before he was a politician” Jean Luc Havugwa Rwisereka, his oldest son said. “So it was very important to us that we mourn him as a father and we try to understand what had just happened. The circumstances in which he was killed were very horrific to us to the point that we could not just start speaking out about what had happened. We are still mourning our father up to now and we are still taking all precautions so as not to put the other members of our family still in Rwanda in trouble. Those who killed our father are still roaming around in Rwanda and they can still do what they did to him to any one of us.”
Further The Proxy Lake stated today that Mr Rwisereka’s family expresses:
“how proud they are that he was part of this big movement of change which started in Rwanda and we can already see that the world is beginning to understand why people like him are fighting for their rights and they are not just some hooligans like it was speculated by some politicians. So, for this reason, we and the rest of all of us, Rwandans, should make sure that his memory is not forgotten. It has not been easy dealing with this situation but we’re doing the best we can to move on with our lives, including finding justice for him”.
Sept-04-2010: Vague Laws Keep Political Opposition Imprisoned - Alysha Atma Salem-News.com African Affairs Correspondent
Jul-21-2010: 'Climax of Violence Must Come to an End', Demands Rwandan Opposition (GRAPHIC PHOTOS) - Alysha Atma Salem-News.com African Affairs Correspondent
Jul-14-2010: Rwandan Democratic Green Party Vice President Assassinated - Alysha Atma Salem-News.com African Affairs Correspondent
Jennifer Fierberg is a social worker in the US working on peace and justice issues in Africa with an emphasis on the crisis in Rwanda and throughout the central region of Africa. Her articles have been published on many humanitarian sites that are also focused on changing the world through social, political and personal action.
Jennifer has extensive background working with victims of trauma and domestic violence, justice matters as well as individual and family therapy. Passionate and focused on bringing the many humanitarian issues that plague the African Continent to the awareness of the developed world in order to incite change. She is a correspondent, Assistant Editor, and Volunteer Coordinator for NGO News Africa through the volunteer project of the UN. Jennifer is also the media co-coordinator and senior funding executive for The Africa Global Village (www.africaglobalvillage.com) Jennifer comes to www.Salem-News.com with a great deal of experience and passion for working to stop human right violation in Africa.
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