FILE - In this Sunday, May 14, 2017 file photo, women’s rights activist and presidential candidate Diane Shima Rwigara, 35, is photographed next to a portrait of her father, business tycoon Assinapol Rwigara, at her home in Kigali, Rwanda. Rwandan police have arrested Diane Rwigara, a leading critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and a women’s rights activist, for alleged offenses against state security. Rwigara’s mother and sister were also detained on the tax evasion charges and she is also being charged with forgery, Rwanda police said.
Her brother, Aristide Rwigara, told The Associated Press that his sister is being persecuted for having dared to challenge Kagame, the longtime president, in Rwanda's August election. He also said the criminal allegations against the family are fabricated, insisting they have been targeted by Rwanda's government for refusing to do business with the ruling party.
"These charges are absurd. Every day, authorities in Kigali come up with something new against my family," Aristide said, speaking from the United States.
Rwigara's troubles started this year after she announced she would challenge Kagame in the Aug. 4 vote. Two days after declaring her candidacy, nude photographs allegedly of her were leaked on social media. It was not clear who was behind the leak.