Diane Rwigara is a former presidential hopeful and women’s rights activist who is currently in prison outside central Kigali awaiting trial.
The 37-year-old accountant, a fierce critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, launched her election bid three months ahead of the August 2017 vote. She was Kagame’s sole female challenger in the poll.
But her campaign was short-lived. Electoral authorities disqualified her, claiming she doctored the number of signatures needed to qualify and accusing her of submitting the names of dead people, which she denied.
With her presidential bid over, Rwigara launched the People Salvation Movement (Itabaza), an activist group to “encourage Rwandans to hold their government accountable.” Shortly after its inception, she was arrested on charges of incitement and fraud, which her family and supporters say are politically motivated.