Urgent Action: Pastor’s Daughter Arbitrarily Detained (Rwanda: UA 174.19)

December 26, 2019

Jackie Umuhoza, daughter of exiled pastor Deo Nyirigira, was arrested on the morning of 27 November 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. On 28 November, after her family and friends raised the alarm on social media, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau confirmed on Twitter that Jackie Umuhoza had been arrested on 27 November on suspicion of treason and espionage. She remains in detention without having been brought before a judge.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Col. Jeannot Ruhunga
Secretary General
Rwanda Investigation Bureau
KN5 Rd, Kamukina
Kigali
Rwanda
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana
Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda
1714 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202 232 2882
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @RwandaInUSA @AmbMukantabana
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Col. Jeannot Ruhunga,

I am writing to you regarding the case of Jackie Umuhoza who was arrested on 27 November 2019. The Rwanda Investigation Bureau confirmed through a Tweet on 28 November that Jackie Umuhoza was in their custody pending investigations into accusations of treason and espionage, offenses that carry sentences of up to 25 years imprisonment. More than three weeks later, the public prosecution has not confirmed a case against her, nor has she been brought before a judge to confirm her continued detention. The law relating to criminal procedure provides that a suspect can only be held for up to five days after their arrest. Further provisional detention after that time can only be decided by order of a judge on request by the public prosecution if they find serious grounds to bring a case.

Unless she is charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offense, Jackie Umuhoza must be immediately released from arbitrary detention. Pending her release, I urge you to ensure that Jackie Umuhoza’s rights as a suspect are respected, including regular access to her family, any healthcare she may require and private communication with her legal counsel. She must be protected from torture and other ill-treatment in detention.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES