A Rwandan opposition party said Tuesday that one of its officials had been stabbed and murdered, fuelling concerns over a string of unsolved killings of its members.
Victoire Ingabire, leader of the unregistered but vocal FDU-Inkingi party, said Syridio Dusabumuremyi had been attacked by two men on Monday night in the shop where he worked.
“Our party deplores the assassination of its national coordinator, Mr Dusabumuremyi. He was savagely stabbed by two individuals this Monday shortly after 9 pm,” Ingabire told reporters.
“After several unsolved assassinations of our party members, we have no hope that his murder will be fully investigated and solved,” she added.
Rwandan police said two suspects had already been detained.
“Two people have been arrested in connection with the murder and investigations are ongoing,” the Rwanda Investigative Bureau (RIB) said in a statement.
Ingabire’s party has lost several members to mysterious deaths and disappearances, which it sees as an attack on dissenting voices in the country.
In March, party spokeman Anselm Mutuyimana, was abducted and his body was found in a forested area in the west of the country.
A man was later arrested as a suspect in his death, but no details around the suspect were provided.
RIB spokesperson Modeste Mbabazi told reporters “investigations are ongoing.”
Another member, Eugene Ndereyimana, has been missing since July and is feared dead.
Amnesty International said in a statement that Dusabumuremyi’s murder was “extremely alarming” and called for a thorough and independent investigation.
“It’s all the more troubling that it follows numerous suspicious attacks, including the disappearance of an FDU-Inkingi party member barely two months ago, and the death of yet another in March,” said the rights group’s regional director, Joan Nyanyuki, in a statement.
“It is essential that the Government of Rwanda protects the rights to freedom of expression and association, including for opposition politicians, and ends the current climate of harassment and intimidation they face.”
Ingabire, a critic of the government, was released from jail in September last year after receiving an unexpected presidential pardon.
She was arrested in 2010 as she planned to contest elections against President Paul Kagame.
Ingabire, an ethnic Hutu, was accused of “genocide ideology” and “divisionism” after publicly questioning the government narrative of the 1994 genocide of mostly Tutsi people that killed around 800,000 people.
Members of Ingabire’s party were frequently arrested during her detention, and human rights groups accused the military of torturing them.
Rights groups accuse Kagame of ruling with an iron fist, clamping down on dissent and opposition politicians.
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