Following the arrest of Diane Rwigara this weekend, Marietje Schaake submitted the questions below to High Representative Mogherini today.
At the end of August, Ms Diane Rwigara - who attempted to challenge President Kagame in the last elections - and a number of her family members disappeared after they were taken from their home by Rwandan police forces(1). Ms Rwigara has since, on September 23rd been charged and formally arrested for alleged offences against state security(2).
1. Is the VP/HR aware of the situation of Ms Rwigara, how does she assess the case against her in connection to her bid to run as an independent candidate in the August 4th elections and will the HR/VP discuss her situation with Rwandan authorities at the highest level and at the earliest opportunity?
2. Is the VP/HR aware of reports documenting harassments, arrests, prosecution and forced disappearances of opposition figures, activists and journalists in the period between the 2015 constitutional referendum - the result of which will allow President Kagame to effectively remain in power until 2034 - and the August election?(3)
3. Can the HR/VP provide information on the EU decision to not to send an election observation mission to Rwanda, especially given the concerns noted by the EU and member states' delegation regarding the 2015 constitutional referendum(4) as well as the overall atmosphere of repression in Rwanda?