Rwanda to free opposition leader, 2,100 others from prison

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Rwanda’s government says it has approved the early release of more than 2,100 prisoners including opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and musician Kizito Mihigo, who received presidential commutations.

A justice ministry statement says both Ingabire and Mihigo had made their most recent requests for clemency in June. The statement gives no further details on the reasons for their release.

Ingabire was arrested in 2010 and found guilty of conspiracy to undermine the government and denying Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, charges that she denied. Human Rights Watch has called the charges politically motivated and linked to her criticism of the government ahead of the 2010 presidential election.

Mihigo had been convicted on charges of conspiring against the government.

Rwanda’s government has long been accused by rights groups of suppressing the opposition.

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