Rwanda: Former University Lecturer, Rapper, and Government Critic, Aimable Karasira In a High Security Detention

Former University Lecturer, Rapper and Government Critic, Aimable Karasira

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Aimable Karasira, a Rwandan former university lecturer, has been in jail since May 31, 2021. He has been accused of undermining the current Rwandan government, after he pointed to crimes and mass murders committed by the military leaders of the ruling RPF-Inkotanyi, including the assassination of his own parents and two brothers in 1994. Aimable Karasira was arrested, after he publicly criticized the  Rwanda the government's repressive policies and actions on his youTube Channel. Following the critics,  media and individuals, allegedly funded and sponsored by the government, filed a petition to have him arrested along with another journalist, Ms. Agnès Uwimana.
The government prosecution office, know as Rwandan Investigation Bureau (RIB), has charged Aimable Karasira of "denying and justifying the genocide against the Tutsi." According to AfroAmerica Network sources close to RIB, he has been moved to a high security detention area.

Aimable Karasira, 42, is from the Rwandan Tutsi minority ethnic group. After graduating from a university with a degree in Engineering and Technology, he was hired as a lecturer at the University of Rwanda.

Besides teaching, he launched a youTube channel called "The Truth I See" or "Ukuri Mbona" in Kinyarwanda, the local language. He  became known for openly expressing  views, especially those criticizing the Rwandan Government for widespread repression and human rights abuses and documenting some crimes committed by warring parties during the 1990-1994 Rwandan civil war.

One of the warring parties, the rebels of Rwandan Patriotic Front - RPF Inkotanyi defeated the then Rwandan government forces,  and is the current ruling military regime, led by  Rwandan dictator, General Paul Kagame.
As claimed by Aimable Karasira, his criticisms of the current ruling leaders allegedly led to him being fired from his teaching position at the University of Rwanda in August 2020. 

Aimable Karasira said that his comments have led to him being visited on several occasions and interrogated by Rwandan military  intelligence operatives (DMI)  and the RIB police  since 2010, being threatened and prosecuted by the RIB, and even being denied the right to have a passport.

Aimable Karasira was also producing rap music, under the stage name of "Professor Nigga.""

Parents and Family Members Killed by Soldiers of the Ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front in 1994.

On Sunday, May 30, 2021, Aimable Karasira broadcasted on his YouTube.  In the clip,  Karasira elaborated more about his life, accusing former RPF-Inkotanyi soldiers of killing his parents and two brothers.

In the interview about his health broadcasted on his channel, Karasira said he was the eldest of four children, who was born to Tutsi parents in Southern Rwanda and was raised in the Capital Kigali.

During the 1990-1994 Rwandan civil war, members of the Tutsi ethnic minority were systematically targeted by extremists from militias and troops from the Hutu ethnic majority. At the same time, extremists with the Tutsi rebel group, then known as Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)- Inkotanyi, targeted and systematically massacred Hutu civilians in occupied areas.

Aimable Karasira said that in the fighting in the capital City Kigali between the RPF- Inkotanyi rebel forces and the government military forces, a rocket bomb (katiyusha), fired by RPF - Inkotanyi, destroyed his family home in Nyamirambo, Kigali, killing his brother.

His mother was working in Rilima, Bugesera, Southern Rwanda with "Doctors Without Borders"". His father and sister fled Kigali and joined his mother in Rilima.

He then said that he learned that his father, mother, and sister were killed by RPF-Inkotanyi, to punish them because his mother had witnessed   the RPF-Inkotanyi systematically massacring Hutus civilians in the area and informed international human rights organizations.

Aimable Karasira said:

"At the university, they (Rwandan Government) fabricated accounts that I was a child of the Interahamwe, alleging that my father was Karamira Froduald or Bucyana Martin of the CDR, just to have people hate me, so that the atrocities committed by the RPF against my family would not be known."

"These allegations gave me a lesson about ethnicity and ethnic groups: Never side with any ethnic group. Never make general statements about ethnic group, by saying that all Tutsis are cruel or all Hutus are cruel. I was betrayed on both Sides. The Interahamwe killed many of my family members in my hometown of southern Rwanda, the Inkotanyi killed my parents and siblings. "

He added:

"[Rwanda] is a country in which the ruling elite uses repression and discrimination based on ethnic groups and the differing views one may have. And I can nave share the same view as the ruling elite because I have been betrayed on both sides. They [members of the ruling elite] behave as they want to appear like saints on the one hand, while, at the same time, they are evil, committing evil acts against the Rwandan people"

Karasira Aimable, then, confirming that he has no political affiliation, said that many Hutus were massacred during and after the 1990-1994 Rwandan civil war and advised those from the Hutu ethnic group to continue to work with the United Nations to confirm the existence of the Genocide against the Hutus.

Since these statements, Amaible Karasira was detained after being summoned by a police officer, accused of "denying and justifying the genocide against the Tutsi", labelled a mentally sick, and detained, and once in while paraded in front of the court to extend his detention.

The accusations have been extended, to include the following:

  • denying that the genocide was prepared;
  • stating that the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntabyamira allegedly by the current ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF - Inkotanyi) was at the origin of the genocide;
  • denying that Kabuga Felicien was involved in genocide, while stating that  he was rather targeted by RPF for not providing funds to the RFPF-Inotanyi during the 1990-1994 civil war, as most other Rwandan wealthy businessmen did;
  • unexplained origin of the large sums of money found at his home.

Aimable Karasira defended himself saying that some of the money was given to him by Rwandan Military Intelligence (DMI) agents trying to corrupt him and to stop him from criticizing the government but rather target oppositions leaders. He added that  other money came from his music, YouTube Channel, and other legitimate sources. He said that his conscience could not allow him to do what DMI asked him. When he did not do what was asked of  him by the DMI, that is when his arrest was put in motion.

AImable Karasira has denied all the accusations and considers himself as a political prisoner. He has confided to many people that he may soon soon be a victim of the DMI and RIB, facing the fate similar to the one of another prominent critic, the late Kizito Mihigo (see here: Rwandan Music Star Kizito Mihigo Dies In a High Security Detention).




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