August 27, 2021

In Closed Door Court Session, Prosecution Seeks 30 Year Jail For Idamange Yvonne


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Picture take from one of her YouTube posts

The High Court sitting in Nyanza district, Southern Rwanda, has set September 30 to deliver verdict in a case of a woman who claimed in YouTube videos that President Paul Kagame had died.

Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne, 42, and mother of 4, has been hearing her case in camera since June. She was arrested in February following a series of YouTube videos.

ALSO READ: Unpacking Broader Politics Of “Madness” In Arrest Of Idamange Yvonne

In final submissions this Thursday, state prosecutors prayed to court for a 30 year jail term, saying the charges against Idamange were extremely serious.

She faces six charges; prosecution for inciting insurrection or public uprising, denigrating genocide commemoration artifacts, publication of rumours through technology platform, assault and causing bodily harm, obstructing the work of law enforcement organs and issuing a bounced cheque.

The hearing was virtual as the judges were in Nyanza, while Idamange and her lawyer were in Kigali at Mageragere prison and Prosecutors at their chambers.

The first sessions including the bail hearings were marked by theatrics from Idamange and Prosecution. While she continued making outrageous statements about President Kagame, prosecution sought to ensure she doesn’t continue to have access to media which repeated her statements.

Finally, in June, the High Court agreed with prosecution and the case continued in camera. Prosecution said the President was a head of state whose status is protected by law and that court shouldn’t allow itself to be platform for undermining the institution of the presidency.

For her part, Idamange by herself and through her lawyer repeatedly said her right to free speech were being abused. Also, Idamange said she was being help in isolation in jail.

The country will be eagerly waiting for the verdict come September 30.

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