Friday, 30 October 2020

Fw: [ibukabose_rengerabose] Fw: Rwanda: deteriorating human rights and security situation

 Rwanda: deteriorating human rights and security situation


    H.E. Amb. Smail Chergui,
    Commissioner, Peace and Security,
    African Union (AU)
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    October 20, 2020
    Your Excellency,
    We, a coalition of 37 organizations, write to you in your capacity as the Chairperson of the
    African Commission on Peace and Security (The Commission), to appeal you to urgently
    address the deteriorating human rights and security situation in Rwanda.
    We reiterate that Rwanda continues to face allegations of human rights violations that are
    of an extremely serious nature. These allegations have been found credible by none less
    than Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UN panel on human rights.
    Several well-grounded allegations exist about the extreme lack of fundamental freedoms in
    Rwanda, which it is charged, has resulted in serious violations of freedom of expression,
    association and movement, as well as entrenched impunity and serious human rights
    violations. Together, these make Rwanda the most acute human rights abuser within the
    Great Lakes region..
    Your excellency, we draw your attention to grave human rights violations in Rwanda that
    have been internationally recognised and reports of ongoing human rights violations that
    are regularly highlighted. Despite Rwanda's repeated denial, these serious and persistent
    violations have been widely documented by Human Rights bodies for the past 26 years.
    They also led to a UN Human Rights Council resolution on the country earlier this year. The
    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has always named Rwanda among the top 10
    countries in the world that have gone unpunished for intimidation and reprisals against
    Your excellency, in 1994, Rwanda suffered a tragedy that left over one million of its citizens
    dead as a result of war and genocide. The war and genocide resulted in immense suffering
    to millions more. The war and genocide have had far-reaching repercussions for both
    Rwanda and the Great Lakes region of Central Africa as a whole.
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    President Kagame is perceived by most outsiders as both invincible and indispensable to
    national and regional stability. There is, however, more to Rwanda and Paul Kagame than
    new buildings, clean streets, and efficient government than President Kagame's famous
    friends in high places in Europe and America care to admit. Rwanda is essentially a hard -
    line, one-party, secretive police state with a façade of democracy. The ruling party, the
    Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), has closed space for political participation. The RPF does not
    tolerate political opposition or open competition for power. The government ensures its
    monopoly of power by means of draconian restrictions on the exercise of the fundamental
    human rights of citizens. The press, civil society and opposition parties are deprived of
    freedom to operate freely. President Kagame and the ruling party that he leads have always
    depended on repression to stay in power.
    State institutions, especially law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and security services,
    serve to protect the RPF's, and ultimately Kagame's power monopoly instead of protecting
    the fundamental human rights of citizens. Repression has again become particularly acute in
    recent months. There have been assassination attempts, killings and enforced
    disappearances of members of the press and political opposition within and outside
    Rwanda. Purges of political enemies, real and imagined, within the ruling party government
    continue unabated. These purges have now been extended to the military. A climate of fear
    and terror has enveloped the nation. Rwanda is in crisis. The situation that prevails raises
    serious questions about the country's future.
    Current Political status
    Rwanda is a one-party dictatorship under President Kagame. President Kagame has
    effectively corrupted the founding ideals of the RPF. Through RPF, President Kagame denies
    the people of Rwanda the opportunity to exercise their fundamental human rights,
    particularly the right of political participation. President Kagame is both corrupt and
    authoritarian. He uses repression to ensure his continued monopoly of power. State
    institutions violate the most fundamental human rights of the people, including the right to
    life and the integrity of the person, to keep the President Kagame in power. State security
    institutions enjoy impunity for grave human rights violations against critics and opponents
    of the government. President Kagame's abuse of the institutions of the state to support his
    quest for absolute power and economic gain is criminalising the fabric of the Rwandan state.
    Judicial system
    Your excellency, in Rwanda, the functioning of the justice system is constrained by lack of
    judicial independence. The judiciary does not enjoy independence. The independence of
    Rwanda's judiciary is compromised by the executive. The President, through the control that
    he exercises over the Senate Chamber of the legislature, controls most senior judges
    (including the Supreme Court) and through them, the rest of the judiciary. Most of the
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    members of the judiciary are cadres of the ruling party, Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). The
    RPF compels its members who have been appointed to the judiciary to continue to owe
    allegiance to the party; to participate in some activities of the party and to pay financial
    contributions to the party's campaign and daily operation.
    Judicial authorities operate in a political context where the executive continues to dominate
    the judiciary and where there is an official antipathy to views diverging from those of the
    government and the dominant party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The judiciary is
    particularly vulnerable to outside interference in cases involving political issues. The
    President, his close advisers and security services personnel frequently coerce members of
    the judiciary to make judicial decisions to suit the interests of the regime. Instead of being
    the protector and defender of citizens' fundamental human rights, the judiciary has become
    one of the main tools by which the regime perpetuates authoritarian rule by persecuting
    opponents and critics.
    Persecution of Political Opponents
    The regime in Rwanda has for years jailed political opponents and disqualified them from
    running for office. Since the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front took power, Rwandans have
    faced huge, and often deadly, obstacles to participating in public life and voicing criticism of
    government policies. Killings and disappearances need to be placed in the context of many
    years of similar violence for which no one has yet been held to account. In this chilling
    atmosphere, it is unsurprising that would-be government critics practice self-censorship.
    The regime uses the coercive instruments of the state, that is the military, security services
    and police, to sustain the status quo in power against the will of the people. State security
    officers continue to commit grave human rights abuses to suppress all political opposition
    and critics of government. Impunity for gross human rights abuses is worse than it was prior
    to the genocide. Rwanda remains deeply divided along ethnic lines. As a result of these and
    other factors, Rwanda remains unstable and prone to violent, and identity-based conflict.
    The report documents how opposition politicians, journalists and human rights defenders
    have faced restrictions on their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful
    assembly in the two decades since the genocide. They have been jailed, physically attacked
    even killed and forced into exile or silence.
    Independent human rights defenders who criticize government policies or are perceived as
    opponents to government have faced different forms of attacks and restrictions in Rwanda.
    NGOs are subject to onerous and costly registration procedures. The nebulous charge of
    promoting 'genocide ideology' has been levied at international and domestic human rights
    organizations who criticize the government.
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    Rwanda's history of political repression, attacks on opposition figures and dissenting voices
    in the context of previous elections, stifles political debate and makes those who might
    speak out think twice before taking the risk.
    People accused of crimes against state security continued to be arrested and held
    unlawfully in military camps. Many people held in these camps were tortured in an attempt
    to force them to confess or accuse others. Authorities continued to round up street
    vendors, sex workers, street children, and other poor people and detained them in so-called
    transit centres across the country.. Conditions in these centres are harsh and inhumane, and
    beatings are common.
    For years, thousands of men, women, and childrenmany of them street children,
    commercial sex workers, or street hawkers are detained unlawfully, without charge or trial,
    in very poor conditions in an unrecognized detention centre commonly known as Kwa
    Kabuga, in the Gikondo area of Kigali. Many were beaten by police, or by other detainees in
    the presence of police.
    Rwanda has degenerated into a criminal state. Victims of human rights violations committed
    against persons considered to be opponents of the government do not have an opportunity
    for seeking redress from the courts. Agents of the state are, to this day, still able to commit
    grave human rights abuses that is killings, torture, and disappearances, without fear of
    being held accountable. Impunity for human rights violations is now far more deeply
    entrenched in the Country, Rwanda.
    The promotion of national reconciliation should have been the foremost priority of
    Rwandan society in the aftermath of the genocide. Instead, President Kagame's pursuit of
    absolute power, his intolerance for political opposition, persecution of opponents and critics
    of the regime and partisan nature of the processes of accountability for past human rights
    violations that Rwanda has undertaken, have all led to elusiveness of national unity and
    reconciliation. As a result of the policies that the regime has pursued since it took control of
    government, Rwandan society remains deeply divided.
    The politics of ethnicity remain intractable in Rwanda. Armed insurgents continue to wage
    war against the Rwandan state from their sanctuaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
    twenty-six years after the genocide.. Externally - based unarmed opposition has on several
    occasions called for dialogue on how to resolve Rwanda's continuing crisis, but the regime
    has refused to heed to that call of negotiating with its opponents.
    The Kagame led regime has failed to engage and lead Rwandan society in genuine
    reconciliation. The social conditions of post -genocide Rwanda remain constructed in terms
    of ethnic identity. The reconciliation that the Rwanda regime envisions is politically
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    constructed on the terms of the ruling party - RPF and President Kagame, which are
    insufficient for ensuring the long-term stability of Rwanda. Lack of national dialogue on
    reconciliation processes has very profound implications for the long -term stability of
    Rwanda and the security of its population. There cannot be genuine reconciliation in
    Rwanda until the grievances of both Tutsis and Hutus communities are well and genuinely
    Your excellency, Rwanda is a member state of the AU, and it is expected to uphold the
    human rights principles set out in AU's Constitutive Act. Your Excellency, the on-going
    violations of human rights in Rwanda are not in keeping with the country's obligations and
    domestic laws, including the constitution and major international and regional human rights
    instruments ratified by Rwanda. Paul Kagame and his regime violate objectives 3(g) and (h)
    of the Constitutive Act of the AU which enjoins AU member States to promote popular
    participation and human and people's rights, respectively. Recalling the role of the AU as
    the lead regional institution tasked to better the lives of the people of Africa, and particular
    Rwandan citizens as in this case, we respectfully ask you to take measures to ensure that
    the regime of president Paul Kagame restores respect for the rule of law, ensures ample
    protection of human rights and aligns its practices to ratified international and regional
    human rights standards including the Constitutive Act of the AU and the African Charter on
    Human and Peoples' Rights. We respectfully ask you to consider including the situation of
    human rights in Rwanda as a point for discussion in the agenda of the next Summit of the
    Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU with recommendations for the
    Summit to deliberate on asking the government of Rwanda to:
    1. Take steps to ensure full compliance with international and regional human rights
    2. Release of all political prisoners, human rights campaigners and journalists;
    3. Respect separation of powers by refraining from interfering with the system of
    administration of justice;
    4. Institute effective mechanisms to protect journalists, civil society groups and human
    rights defenders who work for the promotion and protection of human rights;
    5. Halt enforced disappearances, investigate and punish perpetrators of enforced
    6. Investigate and punish perpetrators and stop attacks against political opponents,
    peaceful decent and journalists;
    7. Allow full and credible international investigations into all allegations concerning
    violations of international humanitarian law in the country;
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    8. Respect the right to access to information and freedom of the media. In particular,
    lift the ban against independent press and media;
    9. Investigate and take actions to punish perpetrators of torture and ensure assistance
    and reparations to the victims;
    10. Address lengthy pre-trial detention and release all detainees who are being held in
    pre-trial detention without proper charges;
    11. Restore Constitutional provisions that guarantee separation of powers and re-instate
    the independence of the three branches of government;
    12. Promote a culture of dialogue and participation and comply with internationally and
    regionally recognised standards on the rule of law and civic space;
    13. Start direct dialogue with Rwandans in exile; and
    14. Accept dialogue with armed groups operating in DR Congo.
    CC: H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, AU Commission
    H.E. Amb. Dr. Namira Negm, AU Legal Counsel
    H.E.. Amb. Augustino Njoroge, Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint
    Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC)
    Commissioner Solomon Dersso, Chairperson, African Commission on Human and
    Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)
    H.E. Amb. Mrs Hope Tumukunde Gasatura, Rwanda's Ambassador to Ethiopia and
    Permanent Representative to the African Union
    1. Action citoyenne pour la Paix
    2. Amahoro-PC
    3. Association des rescapés du génocide des réfugiés rwandais au Congo (Ex-Zaïre-
    RDC) ARGR-Intabaza
    4. Centre de Lutte contre l'Impunité et l'Injustice au Rwanda (CLIIR)
    5. Comité pour l'Unité, la Paix et la Réconciliation au Rwanda (CUPR)
    6. Congrès rwandais du Canada (CRC)
    7. Convention Nationale Républicaine (CNR-Intwari)
    8. Comité de Suivi de la Problématique des Réfugiés Rwandais (CSPR)
    9. COVIGLA, Collectif des victimes des crimes de masse commis dans la region des
    grands lacs africains
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    10. Democratic Rwanda Party, DRP-ABASANGIZI
    11. FDU-Inkingi
    12. Fondation Ibukabose-Rengerabose, Mémoire et Justice pour tous
    13. Global Voice of Rwandan Refugees (GVRR)
    14.. Groupe d'initiative France-Rwanda
    15. Inganzo Gakondo
    16. Initiative du Peuple pour l'Alliance Démocratique (IPAD-Umuhuza)
    17. Initiative Humanitaire pour la région des grands lacs (IHRGL)
    18. Initiative HUMURA
    19. Institut Seth Sendashonga pour la Citoyenneté Démocratique ISCID asbl
    20. JAMBO asbl
    21. Liberté d'Expression Culture et Paix, LECP Info
    22. Mouvement Républicain pour la Paix et le Progrès, MRP
    23. MRCD-Ubumwe
    24. Norway Sub Sahara Africa development organization (NSADO)
    25. Observatoire des Droits de l'Homme au Rwanda (ODHR)
    26. Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes
    Region (OPJDR)
    27. Pacte Démocratique du Peuple (PDP-IMANZI)
    28. PS Imberakuri
    29. Réseau International pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l'Homme au
    Rwanda (RIPRODHOR)
    30.. RNC-Ihuriro
    31. Rwanda National Forum (RNF)
    32. Rwandan Alliance for the National Pact (RANP-Abaryankuna)
    33. Rwandan American Youth Association
    34. Rwandan Platform for Dialogue, Truth, and Justice (RDTJ)
    35. Rwandiska föreningen för mänskliga rättigheter (RFMR)
    36. Rwandiske Forum i Oslo, FORUM RWANDAIS D'OSLO (RFO), Norvège
    37. United Freedom Fighters (UFF-INDANGAMIRWA)


Envoyé par : Michel Niyibizi <>



“Uwigize agatebo ayora ivi”. Ubutegetsi bukugira agatebo ukariyora uko bukeye n’uko bwije.

"Ce dont j’ai le plus peur, c’est des gens qui croient que, du jour au lendemain, on peut prendre une société, lui tordre le cou et en faire une autre."

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

“The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.”

“I have loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore I die in exile."




1.Kumenya Amakuru n’amateka atabogamye ndetse n’Ibishobora Kukugiraho Ingaruka ni Uburenganzira Bwawe.

2.Kwisanzura mu Gutanga Ibitekerezo, Kurwanya Ubusumbane, Akarengane n’Ibindi Byose Bikubangamiye ni Uburenganzira Bwawe.