On February 22, the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court cleared former University of Rwanda instructor Christopher Kayumba of all allegations of rape.
The prosecutor’s failure to provide evidence to support both allegations contributed to the court’s decision to clear Kayumba, the judge stated in announcing the decision.
Former lecturer Kayumba, who worked for the University of Rwanda’s School of Journalism and Communication, was facing rape and accessory to rape charges.
The prosecution had previously asked the court to find Kayumba guilty and sentence him to ten years in prison. Kayumba has been in detention since September 9, 2021.
Kayumba, who has been in detention with no bail, in 2021 launched a hunger strike to protest against the “politically motivated” charges.
At the time, his lawyer said he was weak and frail and declined to submit to medical tests when he was taken to the hospital. Kayumba had feared any samples could be used against him, according to his lawyer.
The former Kigali journalism school lecturer ended the hunger strike after 11 days due to a “diabetic condition that had deteriorated quickly and put his life in danger”, his lawyer said.
In December 2019, Kayumba was arrested and sentenced to a year in jail for “public disturbance” after airport security refused to allow him to travel to Nairobi.
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