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The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has dismissed a case against the Rwandan government over human rights violation.

A Rwandan citizen had accused the government of illegal arrest and prosecution on charges of inciting insurrection.

The decision last week by the regional court means the man will continue serve a 10-year prison term handed to him by a Rwandan court in 2014.

Although the ruling was welcomed, the government insists that judgements made by the national courts are valid and do not need to be legitimised by regional or international courts.

“Rwanda’s justice system functions in accordance with the constitution and relevant laws. Trust in it by citizens isn’t dependent on validation or confirmation by other justice systems,” Mr Johnston Busingye, the Minister for Justice told The EastAfrican.


Dr Christophe Mpozayo had petitioned EACJ to declare that the Rwandan government had infringed on his human rights and that his sentencing was unlawful.

“The court is not satisfied by the applicant that the criminal case was conducted against universally accepted principles of law, therefore declaration against his arrest, detention, trial and imprisonment being unlawful is declined,” EACJ ruled.

The verdict by five-judge bench was read by justice Monica Mugenyi.

“The court found no basis to award aggravated and exemplary damages as sought by the applicant, having not succeeded in his case.”

Mr Mpozayo, a former employee of the East African Legislative Assembly, was arrested in November 2013 and charged with defamation, conspiracy against the Rwandan government and illegal possession of a firearm.

He was acquitted of all charges and released on April 2, 2014.

He was rearrested on the same day and charged with inciting insurrection. The prosecution produces Skype Chat documents, the WhatsApp conversations as evidence. He was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years.