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Rwanda: LGBTQ fashion designer Moses Turahirwa charged with passport forgery
28/04/2023 22:55 in World News

Police claimed Friday that a transgender Rwandan fashion designer who listed President Paul Kagame among her clients was arrested on forgery charges after claiming her passport had been updated to reflect her new gender.


Moses Turahirwa, 35, was arrested on Thursday after posting an Instagram photo of her passport with the gender section changed from male to female.


"I'm finally a woman on my ID." This is entertaining. "Thank you, Kagame," wrote Moses Turahirwa, who goes by "she/they" on social media.


"Turahirwa Moses was summoned by the RIB (Rwanda Bureau of Investigation) to explain the source of the fake passport after the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration confirmed that it did not issue the said passport," said RIB spokesman Thierry Murangira.


"The use of narcotics has been added to the crimes Turahirwa is accused of after tests conducted by Rwanda's forensic laboratory confirmed that he had illegally consumed cannabis," he added.


"The investigation will continue during his pre-trial detention," he added.


Moses Turahirwa, a former model and the creator of the Kigali Moshions fashion house, resigned as CEO of the company in November after a controversy over the release of nude images on its social media platforms.


In January, the designer, who has designed outfits for Paul Kagame and his family, faced harsh criticism in Rwanda after a video of her having sex with two men surfaced.


Unlike several of its neighbors (Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi), homosexuality is not prohibited in Rwanda.


While Rwanda is one of only a few African countries to have signed a joint UN declaration condemning violence against LGBTQ people in 2011, abuse and stigma are still prevalent.

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