The Catholic bishops of Rwanda are pleading for the release of Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro, who was arrested by the government last month, L'Osservatore Romano has reported.
    In yesterday's issue of the Vatican daily, the bishop's arrest was referred to as "infamous" and a "violent defamation". The paper sharply denied that Bishop Misago had been involved in the genocidal killings of 1994 in Rwanda-- the charge on which he was arrested 14 April.
    The Rwandan bishops, pointing out that Bishop Misago is aging and in poor health, have asked that the government release him, at least while he awaits trial. The government has rejected all such requests, saying that the bishop will be treated exactly like the hundreds of other Rwandans who are awaiting trial on similar charges. Government officials have also announced that even if he is cleared of the charges, Bishop Misago will be required to leave his Gikongoro diocese permanently.
    Catholic World News 1:30pm 28/5/99


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