Female MPs call for IPU’s intervention in Kabuye issue

The Rwanda Women Parliamentarians Forum (RWPF) has written to the President of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU), Theo-Ben Gurirab, requesting the Union to intervene on behalf of Rose Kabuye. They called on the “vigilance of the parliament for the principle of Universal Jurisdiction to be applied with fairness and professionalism in all countries.”

The Rwanda Women Parliamentarians Forum (RWPF) has written to the President of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU), Theo-Ben Gurirab, requesting the Union to intervene on behalf of Rose Kabuye.

They called on the “vigilance of the parliament for the principle of Universal Jurisdiction to be applied with fairness and professionalism in all countries.”

“We express our indignation and point out to the entire world the abusive use of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction for political interests by certain European judges with national jurisdiction,” the letter reads in part.

Kabuye the Director of State Protocol was arrested on November 9, at Frankfurt International Airport as she arrived in Germany to prepare a visit by President Paul Kagame; she was later transferred to France where she is awaiting trial. 

She is one of the nine Rwandans targeted by the largely unpopular warrants issued in November 2006 by the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who accuses her of complicity in the downing of the plane carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana.

The Government of Rwanda has contested these warrants saying that the judge did not conduct professional investigations prior to issuing them.

Kabuye’s arrest has triggered off worldwide protests by both Rwandans and non-Rwandans.

Rwandan MPs observed that Kabuye’s arrest was a clear violation of fundamental human rights, Rwanda’s sovereignty and the Vienna Convention with regards to diplomatic privileges and immunity.

The MPs also contend that the arrest jeopardizes the dignity of Africa already faced with numerous political, social and economic challenges caused by colonialism and neocolonialism. They pointed out that the perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda are based in European countries.

The MPs also made it clear that Kabuye who was abusively arrested is among those who stopped the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis that claimed the lives of over one million people.
The letter to the IPU comes a few days after the African Parliamentary Union (APU) added its voice in condemning Kabuye’s arrest.

Rose Kabuye is a former Member of Parliament and served during the transition period between 1998 and 2001.

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