Iain Edwards is to defend the leading Rwandan opposition politician, Victoire Ingabire, whose appeal before the Rwandan Supreme Court is to open today, 25 March 2013, in Kigali. Five months ago, she was convicted of two out of six charges brought against her, namely of having minimised the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda and of having conspired to threaten the security of Rwanda through supporting armed activity. She was acquitted of the remaining four charges and sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment. The prosecution, who had been seeking imprisonment for life, is also appealing some of the acquittals and the sentence.
The appeal, which is expected to last for several weeks, will be closely monitored by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. They criticised the trial at first instance for failing to meet minimum international fair trial standards and for being politically motivated.