PRESS RELEASE 011/2017
P5-Plateform would like to call on the UN to condemn publicly practice torture in Rwanda and to come out to put pressure on the Rwanda government to respect international conventions that it has ratified. The complacency of the international community has encouraged repression in Rwanda to an irreversible level and has sowed seeds of future instability in Rwanda and in the Great Lakes Region.
News reports have confirmed that “the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture” (SPT) has suspended a visit to Rwanda due to a series of obstructions imposed by authorities, such as accessing some places of detention, confidentiality of certain interviews and over concerns that some interviewees could face reprisals. The delegation suspended the visit on day five of their planned seven-day mission which was supposed to stay in Rwanda from the 15 – 21 October 2017.
Apart from visiting places of detention and giving interviews to inmates, the delegation of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) aimed to advise the Rwandan authorities on the establishment of a national detention monitoring body officially known as the National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) to monitor Rwanda’s compliance to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) which Rwanda ratified in June 2015.
The refusal of the Rwandan government is a clear sign that the regime has something to hide. We may recall that the Rwandan regime has been accused by independent human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have reported different methods of torture in secret detention centres. The methods of torture include beatings, electric shocks, asphyxiation, and mock executions, intended to make detainees confess or to accept to give false testimonies against their friends.
We would like to recall that members of the family of Assinapol Rwigara (Mrs Adeline and her two daughters Diane and Anne) and eight members of the political party FDU-Inkingi who are being dragged in Rwanda court have all been tortured both physically and psychologically.
It is not the first time that the Rwandan regime has gone away with crimes identified by the UN High Commission for Human Rights. Let us recall that the UN Mapping report, in its report released on October1, 2010, relating to the killing of an estimated 200,000 Hutu refugees in the DRC states that: “the apparent systematic and widespread attacks described in this report reveal a number of inculpatory elements that, if proven before a competent court, could be characterized as crimes of genocide” ( DRC: Mapping human rights violations 1993-2003: point 517).
The Rwandan regime has been accused of widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance which constitute a crime against humanity as defined in applicable international law and shall which should attract the consequences provided for under such applicable international law. The Rwandan government has again gone away with it.
P5-Platform is calling on the international community, particularly the European Union, the USA, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, to help put an end to General Paul Kagame impunity for sustainable peace and security in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region.
Done in Brussels October 24, 2017
For the Platform P5
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