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newtimes - 1 month ago

Yvonne Iryamugwiza arraigned, seeks bail

Yvonne Idamange Iryamugwiza on Thursday, March 4 appeared before Gasabo Primary Court in Kibagabaga where she was charged with six counts to which she pleaded not guilty. Iryamugwiza who attended the hearing virtually faces six charges including denigrating genocide commemoration artifacts, inciting an uprising among the public, publication of rumors, intentional assault and battery, blocking the enforcement of government orders, and issuing a bounced cheque. She was flanked by two lawyers. Two prosecutors were in the courtroom. According to prosecution, through her YouTube channel, Iryamugwiza published a litany of malicious rumors, including one announcing the death of the Head of State, and called on Rwandans countrywide to rise up and rebel against the established government. In addition to this, prosecution added, the accused said that the government has replaced Covid-19 with the genocide against the Tutsi as a tool to earn money, which “literally means that the government uses genocide to earn money, and we all know that it is not the case”. In her defence, Iryamugwiza pleaded not guilty and said that her statements were interpreted out of context by the prosecution, and that she can’t deny the genocide against the Tutsi while she is a genocide survivor. She also mentioned that whatever she said was within the ambits of freedom of expression that the Constitution allows her. The 42 year-old, therefore, requested the court to give her bail, adding that she does not plan to destroy evidence. However, prosecution emphasized that there are still ongoing investigations in Iryamugwiza’s case, and that once given bail, she might continue to perpetuate the same crimes through the same media channels, or even escape. The presiding judge resolved that the court will reconvene on March 9 at 16:00 for the bail ruling. Iryamugwiza was arrested on February 15 after appearing on her YouTube channel a number of times to incite public disorder among other accusations.


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