In Summary
  • Rwigara, a 37-year-old accountant, was blocked from challenging Kagame in the August 2017 presidential election and arrested a month later.
  • The bail was granted on condition that both Rwigara and her mother do not travel out of the capital Kigali.
  • Their trial will resume in November.

A Rwandan High Court on Friday granted bail to Diane Rwigara, a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame, who had been jailed for over a year awaiting trial.

Rwigara, a 37-year-old accountant, was blocked from challenging Kagame in the August 2017 presidential election and arrested a month later, along with her mother, for alleged tax evasion and forgery as well as for inciting insurrection.

A panel of three judges ruled that the prosecution had failed to provide credible reason why the pair should be kept in detention, and ordered their immediate release on bail.

The decision was received with screams of joy from relatives who were packed inside the small courthouse in Kigali.

The bail was granted on condition that both Rwigara and her mother do not travel out of the capital Kigali, and that their travel documents be handed in to authorities.

Their trial will resume in November.

Anne Rwigara, a younger sister who was also briefly detained with her sibling and mother last year - but released without charge - welcomed the decision.

"This is a very good surprise. They are innocent and we know these charges against my sister and mother are not true but were simply made up for political purposes. I cannot believe they are coming home," she said.

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