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Acquitted from a 25-year Prison Sentence

The man in this story (nicknamed Charles) had been imprisoned for a long period without trial, accused of defilement. Instead of being tried in the place where the alleged crime was committed, Kayove (so people could testify about the offence) he was tried in the former Nyamyumba District and was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment and given a fine of approximately 2,500,000 Rwf.

A member of Haguruka met Charles’ wife during a public dialogue in Kayove, who told them about the injustice suffered by her husband. Haguruka came to Gisenyi where Charles was imprisoned to learn more and went on to provide Charles with legal assistance in the appellate court (initially Ruhengeri, and later Rusizi).

Haguruka provided Charles with a lawyer who helped him seek a DNA test which was able to demonstrate that Charles was innocent. Charles was subsequently acquitted and is now working as a teacher at a primary school in Syiki, where he used to work before he was imprisoned

Charles was very grateful for the support provided by Haguruka; he thought he would have to serve the full sentence as his family could not afford lawyer’s fees.


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