Rwanda's most high-profile opposition figure acquitted of "baseless" charges

Rwanda's most high-profile opposition figure acquitted of

She was arrested in September last year and held in jail for more than a year, until her release on bail in October.

She added: "This is what happens when you dare to have a different political opinion - a different view from those in the government".

The Rwandan election commission had said that some of the 600 signatures she had submitted - a requirement for aspiring presidential candidates - were forged, and that some of the people on her list were dead.

The outspoken young politician was an unusual voice of criticism in tightly run Rwanda ahead of the August 2017 election and had already been the victim of a smear campaign when nude pictures, purporting to be of her, were shared online.

Her mother, Adeline, also faced a 22-year term after sending messages that were critical of the government on Whatsapp to her sister and a couple of her friends. But the court ruled that these were merely conversations between individuals and did not prove that she was promoting insurrection. I am continuing with my political journey. everything I talked about in the past has not been resolved.

The Rwigara family assets and stock of their tobacco company have been auctioned off by the country's revenue authority which said it was recovering unpaid taxes.

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Victoire and DianeDiane Rwigara is the daughter of a businessman and pivotal member of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front, Assinapol Rwigara.

"The judgment must be a first step in reversing the ongoing trend of repression in Rwanda".

But Rwigara denied the charges saying they were made up and politicall motivated. "While we welcome their discharge and acquittal, we are concerned that the right to freedom of expression remains under attack in Rwanda", the rights group said in a statement.

Speaking to Sky News hours before the verdict was announced, Ms Rwigara said she was targeted by the state because she is prepared to challenge Kagame and his ruling clique. "There are still many political prisoners in the country", Reuters reports Ms Rwigara as saying.

Paul Kagame, the country's towering, beanpole-like president, has been widely praised for his role in providing stability and economic growth after Rwanda's catastrophic genocide in 1994.

Four other accused relatives, who are not in the country, were also cleared of all charges and found not guilty.

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