RWANDA: MOTHERS SEPARATED FROM THEIR BABIES AND DUMPED IN VAGRANT CENTRES.
The FDU-Inkingi have learnt with shock that since the 31st of December 2020, the Rwandan authorities in the western province made a clampdown on alleged smugglers and damped them in Kanzenze transit centre, one of the many centres around the country established to accommodate “anyone exhibiting deviant behaviours,” defined as “actions or bad behaviour such as prostitution, drug use, begging, vagrancy, informal street vending, or any other deviant behaviour that is harmful to the public” before they are transferred to rehabilitation Centre”. People can be held in these transit centres for up to two months, without any other further legal justification or oversight.
The people arrested are accused of having been found with smuggled goods. They include men and women who have established small shops as a source of income to get money mainly to pay school fees for their children, pay health insurance and the many taxes and fees imposed by the government. What is shocking is that some of the women are single parents and were separated from them at the time of arrest and have not seen them for the last three weeks. We have sadly learnt too that men are routinely beaten. Worse still these people who have been rounded up and kept in these centres are not allowed to receive visitors.
The FDU-Inkingi condemns in the strongest terms possible the alleged beating of inmates of the Centre, the emotional abuse and neglect of children who were separated from mothers.
The FDU-Inkingi calls on Save-The Children– Rwanda to ensure that the rights of children are safeguarded. We call on women MPs and the Ministry responsible for children and families to intervene in this matter.
We call on the Rwandan authorities to use more reasonable measures for example fines, if indeed there is violation of the law, to ensure that lives of the detainees are not put at risk of contracting COVID19.
We call on the authorities to carry out an investigation about the physical abuse of detainees and punish those who will be found guilty of the offence.
Done in Rouen January 23, 2020
Commissioner FDU-INKINGI in charge of Information and Communication