A popular Rwandan singer whose music was banned by the ruling regime was found dead in Kagali, police said Monday.
Kizito Mihigo was said to have committed suicide while in custody, three days after he was caught trying to flee the country.
The singer was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2015 for conspiring against the government.
He was later pardoned and recaptured trying to cross the border in Rwanda’s south.
Police said Mihigo was visited by his relatives and lawyers while in detention. Investigations have begun to ascertain why he allegedly took his own life.
Mihigo fell out with the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party in 2013 after he composed songs that questioned the government’s tight control of the legacy of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
He songs, once popular with the ruling elite was subsequently banned.
Two years later, Mihigo was accused of terrorism and soliciting support for an opposition movement. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
A popular singer in Rwanda, who was jailed on charges of plotting to kill the country’s president but later pardoned, was found dead in a police cell on Monday in what authorities said was suicide. A survivor of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, Kizito Mihigo (pictured) was well-known for singing the national anthem at official ceremonies, including some attended by President Paul Kagame. “We are very disheartened. I ask the government to promote love,” a family member who asked not to be named told Reuters. In 2015, Mihigo was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of conspiring to assassinate Kagame and other senior government officials. Kagame pardoned him three years later. Mihigo was re-arrested three days ago over what police said was a violation of the terms of his release by trying to leave the country without permission and attempting to bribe Rwandans who spotted him trying to cross into Burundi. Marie Michelle Umuhoza, the spokeswoman for the Rwanda Investigation Bureau, said Mihigo had been alone in the cell.