The wife of a prominent member of the Rwandan opposition has been arrested and imprisoned.
The lady, Violette Uwamahoro went missing two weeks ago and despite denials by the Rwandan regime, her husband who is in exile, has said that his wife is in police custody.
The exiled politician Faustin Rukundo says the wife is being accused of working with criminal networks.
The Kigali regime “have acknowledged that they have Vilette in their custody and appear to be accusing her of working with criminals,” said Rukundo, who is married to Uwamahoro, who is both a Rwandan and British citizen.
Rukundo denied the charges against his wife and that she was involved in opposition politics, saying “the true thing is that they can never have evidence of Violette doing anything wrong”.
Uwamahoro, who has lived in Britain since 2004, has not been seen since February 14 when she was in Rwanda to attend her father’s funeral.
Rukundo is an official of the National Rwandan Congress (RNC), an opposition party in exile founded by former allies of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled Rwanda since 2000.Mr Rukundo, 37, said: “This is completely out of character for my wife.
Up until 20 minutes before she was due to arrive in Kigali we were exchanging messages and nothing was wrong. Then she simply vanishes.
We know that the government uses abduction against its critics and this seems to be a way of applying pressure on me and obtaining intelligence.
“I am incredibly worried for my wife’s safety. Our children are having nightmares and wanting to know where their mother is. I am very worried that unless the British government applies enough pressure we will never see Violette again.”
Human Rights Watch has warned of a spate of disappearances, unlawful detentions and politically motivated arrests in Rwanda ahead of the country’s presidential elections later this year.
Rwandan press say Uwamahoro was detained after police received information implicating her “in very serious criminal activites, including attempts to recruit people into a criminal network.”
Rwanda will hold a presidential election in August and HRW said the country’s citizens must be able to participate without fear of being detained if they speak out.