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MDR SG P. Gakwandi's Arrest

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On December 31st, around 5:00 am, the house of the National Secretary of MDR
(Movement Democratic Republican Party) Mr. Pierre Gakwandi in Kiyovu, Kigali was
attacked and surrounded by a troupe of armed people in Rwandan Patriotic
Army uniform.
Contacted on his cell phone during the day, Mr. Gakwandi said that he was
hiding in undisclosed area. He added that he was attacked by the soldiers
send to him by Hon. Jean De Dieu Ntiruhungwa, Rwandan Minister of Internal
affairs. Mr. Gakwandi believed that the Minister was intended to arrest him
and be able to confiscate MDRs importants documents held by Gakwandi.
On January 2nd, Mr. Gakwandi was seen to the Prosecutors Office in Kigali
around 9:00 P.M. Later during night, he was at the National Police
Headquoters escorted by armed people in military uniform.
As a reminder, January 1st is an official holiday in Kigali, and Public
Offices are closed that day. The usually working day ends at 5:00 p.m. It is
unusually to see some one at the Prosecutor's Office on holiday and in late
hours. This is an indication of a dangerous situation and Human rights
violation that Mr. Gakwandi is facing.
Sources say that at the Prosecutors Office, Gakwandi was questioned about
the article criticizing the Rwandan Government published in the local news
paper Le Partisan. The articless author Amiel Nkuriza, the Editor of Le
Partisan is currently in jail, victim of that article. The Official
believed that Mr. Gakwandi contributed in writing the article because he is
Amiel's friend.
On January 2nd, Mr. Gakwandi was conducted to Remera Brigade Police in
Kigali and is jailed there for apparently unfounded reason..
Gakwandi is a prominent member and National Secretary of MDR, he is an
outspoken person, this may be one of the reasons Rwandan government detained
him.
Any assistance and immediate action to secure Gakwandis life is welcome.
("James Karisa", Jan 4, 2002 Rwanda-l)