October 11, 2021

Woman Missing After Viral YouTube Video Alleging Torture Is Reportedly Detained

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Dushimirimana Antoinette, who appeared in a viral YouTube video last month making serious allegations is currently in detention awaiting prosecution for attempting to illegally cross border.

The Immigration and Emigration Directorate says the woman was arrested September 29 after together with her husband attempted to cross to Uganda through an ungazetted border route. This version of events contradicts what has been widely shared on social media.

In late August, news began filtering through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube alleging that YouTuber Gilbert Shyaka, who ran “Ijwi ry’Imfubyi” channel, had gone missing.

Weeks later in late September around 23rd, a woman identified as Dushimirimana Antoinette, appeared in viral YouTube video in which she said she was Shyaka’s wife. The woman said she had written letter to President Paul Kagame pleading with him to help find her husband who had been missing, and that he had been kidnapped by security personnel.

The woman claimed she had also been “kidnapped” and was tortured by her captors, describing heavily graphics details of what allegedly happened to her. She alleged those who held her were Rwandan security personnel.

There was no official reaction to the viral video and other information about Shyaka.

Around September 29, more reports surfaced, largely spread by Rwandan exiles, that Dushimirimana had also gone missing. Actually, they claimed she had been kidnapped again, like her husband. A social media campaign has also been ongoing about their case.

Today on Monday, government agencies said in local media that Dushimirimana was in custody and would soon be brought before court for prosecution.

The Immigration directorate says the Prosecutor General’s office is preparing to charge Dushimirimana with immigration offenses as par Article 44 of the immigration law. She faces up to six months in prison with fine of Rwf 1m.

According to the account of the government agencies, Dushimirimana was arrested on September 29 along with two men who were facilitating her exit from Rwanda into Uganda, via a porous point on the now closed border.

Apparently, Dushimirimana was trying to follow her husband, who, according to the authorities, did successfully fled to Uganda earlier on August 23.

A day earlier on August 22, the two (husband and wife) reportedly arrived at the main Gatuna border with Uganda in vehicle seeking to cross, but were turned back. It is the next day that the husband crossed via another ungazetted point on the heavy patrolled border.

YouTuber Gilbert Shyaka, who ran “Ijwi ry’Imfubyi

According to information from the government agencies, the wife Dushimirimana was arrested on that same day her husband crossed to Uganda.

It appears, those are the days she spent in custody, during which she alleges the torture supposedly inflicted on her in the viral YouTube video.

The authorities report that she had also tried to cross border illegally.

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