Mr Anselme Mutuyimana, a supporter of FDU-Inkingi, has been denied the right to be transferred to University Hospital of Butare for specialist treatment recommended by medical staff of Nyanza prison. We fear the worst could happen to him if he does not get the recommended medical attention in time.
For the last two years Nyanza prison authorities have ignored the recommendation of prison medical staff to get him transferred Butare University Hospital to get proper treatment. He was given five appointments over the last two years but each time he would be removed from the list of people to be transferred by prison authorities and at times he was thrown out of the car at the time of departure. He was again refused to attend his medical appointment on the October 4, 2016.
The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977 provide that “Sick prisoners who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialized institutions”.
His relationship with prison authorities deteriorated in 2014 after he spoke with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Association and Assembly, Maina Kai, inside the prison. In his June 2014 report the rapporteur criticized the Rwandan government laws, including the infamous article 463 of the penal code under which Anselme was arrested and sentenced.
Mr Anselme Mutuyimana is serving a six-year sentence for being in a meeting organised by the Secretary General of FDU-Inkingi, Mr Sylvain Sibomana. He was arrested in 2012 and sentenced under article 463 of the penal code for inciting the population to hate the government.
The prosecution has argued that during the meeting with FDU-Inkingi Secretary General Sylvain Sibomana who is also serving a six-year sentence under the same alleged offence, both criticised among other things government policy on education, misallocation of medical insurance funds, the huge disparities in salaries and extreme economic disparities between rural and urban areas. This is considered a threat to state security.
We are seriously concerned that the denial of medical attention could be one way of getting rid of him without firing a shot. Our fears are reinforced by recent statements of senior political leaders including the President that anyone perceived to be threatening state security would be shot in broad day light. On June 5, 2014, President is quoted making such a statement at a public rally in Nyabihu, Northern province.
We would like to appeal to the Rwandan government and to all the people of good will to intervene to save the life of Anselme Mutuyimana.
Done in London October 13, 2016
Commissioner for External Relations and Spokesperson