Rwanda freeing 2,140, including dissident
A prominent opposition leader and a popular gospel musician, both imprisoned after angering the government of Rwanda, walked free Saturday after officials said that more than 2,100 inmates would be released.
President Paul Kagame and his government, which has a record of suppressing dissent and jailing critics, gave no indication what prompted the freeing of the prisoners, whose detention had drawn international condemnation.
The Cabinet and the Ministry of Justice released terse statements Friday night that Kagame had granted clemency to 2,140 people and that the Cabinet had approved.
Supporters of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of the opposition party FDU-Inkingi and once a challenger to Kagame for the presidency, and Kizito Mihigo, an activist and well-known singer, musician and composer, posted photos of themselves leaving Nyarugenge Prison in Kigali.
It was not clear how many of the people who were being released had been imprisoned on political charges.
Ingabire has spoken openly about the 1994 genocide and the tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups that fueled it — both taboo topics.