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Thu, 22 Apr 2010 15:20 - Updated Thu, 22 Apr 2010 15:19

Rwanda opposition chief held for 'genocide denial'

Kigal

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Kigal - Rwandan opposition leader and presidential hopeful Victoire Ingabire was arrested Wednesday on charges of denying the 1994 genocide and "collaborating with a terrorist organisation", an official said.


Ingabire, a likely challenger to President Paul Kagame in August presidential elections, was arrested in Kigali at around 0800 GMT and later appeared before a prosecutor at the Gasabo district court in the capital.


"The court will decide on Thursday whether she remains in preventive custody as requested by the prosecution or is granted bail awaiting substantive trial", the statement from the prosecution said.


Ingabire is accused of "association with a terrorist group; propagating genocide ideology; negationism and ethnic divisionism".


Ingabire's United Democratic Forces (FDU) party, formed in exile but not yet registered in Rwanda, condemned the arrest, but said it would not impair her ambitions.


The FDU "condemns in the strongest terms possible the arrest this morning of the party chair... for her views on how to bring about genuine national reconciliation and peace..," a statement said.


"We know that this violent arrest will not deter her determination, instead it prompts the struggle of this freedom icon to a higher level."


In the prosecution's statement, it said Ingabire's "involvement in politics does not mean that she is above the law".