Rwanda: Name to Action from the Advocacy Community on Africa

Following is a statement from the Advocacy Community on Africa (AdNA) Rwanda Working Community

This present day, as we imprint the 27th three hundred and sixty five days for the reason that events known as the Rwandan Genocide took self-discipline, leading to an estimated 800,000 of us killed, we’re appalled to survey a standard magnify within the extent of atrocities, repression and brazen push apart for human existence exhibited by the Executive of Rwanda. Within the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide, the realm undertook by no manner to flip apart another time as identical crimes against humanity transpired.

Yet, most trendy events showcase that President Paul Kagame and the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Entrance proceed to aim these perceived as a threat to the authorities. Several high-profile authorities critics contain been arrested or threatened. Arbitrary detention, ill-cure, and torture in respectable and unofficial detention companies and products proceed. Lovely trial requirements are automatically flouted in many sensitive political cases, via which security-linked charges are veritably aged to wait on and prosecute prominent authorities critics.

HIGHLIGHTING PARTICULARLY ALARMING CASES:

Kidnapping, unlawful switch, detention, trial of the hero of the movie Resort Rwanda – Paul Rusesabagina

On or round August 28th, 2020, Paul Rusesabagina, a international-notorious hero, known for his efforts in saving over 1200 of us at some stage within the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, was kidnapped from the United Arab Emirates and extradited to Kigali, Rwanda the place he was handed over to the Rwanda Investigation Bureau. To learn extra concerning the unlawful imprisonment of this humanitarian hero click this Hyperlink.

Arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention of Idamange

On February 15, 2021, Idamange, a mother of 4, a genocide survivor, social media icon and an outspoken critic of the Rwandan authorities, was arrested by the Rwandan security forces. Her crime: having the courage to focus on out against the Kagame regime on her YouTube channel, and her challenging commentary on the closing political home in Rwanda, extrajudicial detentions, torture, and kidnapping of Rwandan voters. She has claimed that she’s been handcuffed and shackled at some stage in her detention and the torture has long past as far now no longer allowing her to self care or releasing the handcuffs at some stage in her courses.

Extrajudicial killing of Abdallah Seif Bamporiki in South Africa

On February 21, 2021, Abdallah Seif Bamporiki, chairman of the South African branch of the Rwanda Nationwide Congress, was shot and killed in Cape Metropolis. This killing of a Rwandan opposition leader in South Africa was the most trendy in a group of violent assaults on exiled dissidents. Every week ahead of his raze, Mr. Bamporiki had led a memorial service for Rwandan opposition activists who contain been killed worldwide, including one other RNC leader, feeble Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, who had been killed in South Africa in 2013. Yet another RNC leader, feeble Rwandan militia chief of physique of workers Kayumba Nyamwasa, narrowly escaped demise in 2010 when he was shot in Johannesburg.

Extrajudicial killing of Kizito Mihigo

Loved Rwandan gospel singer and activist, Kizito Mihigo was killed in a suspicious demise in police custody in February 2020. Quickly ahead of his demise, Kizito had instantaneous Human Rights Watch that he was being threatened and instantaneous to form pretend testimony against political opponents, and that he desired to cruise the nation because he feared for his security. Kizito Mihigo served four years in reformatory on trumped-up charges and was sooner or later released in October 2018, simplest to be re-arrested in February 2020 to die in police custody inner four days of his arrest. One in every of the predominant charges against him was being a phase of one or extra armed groups, among other charges. As the pattern goes with Rwandans accused by the authorities, Kizito Mihigo was additionally “disappeared” for ten days ahead of being produced, now no longer in court, however in public the place he was paraded in front of journalists with out a approved legitimate in 2014. He was tortured at some stage in his 10-day disappearance as properly as at some stage in his reformatory sentence.

Compelled Disappearance of Bahati Harmless

Bahati Harmless is a hottest Rwandan poet, activist, and social commentator. He has been missing since February 7, 2021 and has change into one other grim example of a standard movement of compelled disappearances of high-profile critics of the Rwandan authorities. With whereabouts unknown for 2 months now, Bahati Harmless rose to public acclaim as a younger 23-three hundred and sixty five days feeble poet writing about everything from poverty, hunger, unequal access to education and human rights violations. Compelled disappearances of of us like Bahati Harmless is a first and worrisome chance ingredient indicating the closed political home the place the Kagame regime will increase its efforts to silence high profile critics.

The Disappearance of Mitsindo Viateur

Mitsindo Viateur went missing on November 17, 2020. This case is alarming because Mitsindo Viateur has now no longer been viewed in public, charged or produced in court since Mid-November. He left his home to acknowledge a summons by local authorities. When his wife asked the summoning local authority, the local authority, named Genevieve Uwamahoro, stated that Viateur had been taken in handcuffs by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) and that she had no extra recordsdata. Alternatively, in spite of Ms. Uwamahoro’s claim of seeing him in handcuffs, the RIB denied having Mitsindo Viateur in custody for a total week. After some public strain, the RIB reported that they had him. The RIB claimed on social media and authorities propaganda newspapers broadcasting in Kinyarwanda that Mitsindo Viateur was being investigated for involvement with armed or fear groups—the identical price that was leveled against Paul Rusesabagina. Viateur’s price is comparable now no longer simplest to that against Paul Rusesabagina, however additionally to charges against other high-profile folks equivalent to old presidential candidates Victoire Ingabire, who served eight years and Diane Rwigara, who served one three hundred and sixty five days in reformatory on this identical price of “being eager with armed groups or fear groups”. There is deep fret that Mitsindo Viateur has been tortured and is being hidden from the general public till he recovers. In self-discipline of manufacturing him in court or showing him to the general public, the authorities of Rwanda has as a change begun a smear campaign accusing him of “being phase of armed groups” and “spreading hateful messages”.

Extended Arrest of Cyuma Hassan

In April 2020, a Rwandan journalist who reported that members of the Rwandan militia were raping females beneath the quilt of “enforcing Coronavirus suggestions” was arrested. He had additionally reported on the consequences of the authorities militia destroying properties of many of of city dwellers. The price against him was “violation of Coronavirus measures”, which veritably outcomes in an in a single day detention in a stadium. He was as a change detained for nearly a three hundred and sixty five days, released in mid-March 2021. He has reported on being tortured whereas detained and on authorities attempting to bribe him into silence.

OVERARCHING CONCERNS:

We call on the United Worldwide locations, the European Union, the Commonwealth, Global Group of the Francophonie, the USA, the UK, the African Union, Belgium, Southern Africa Building Neighborhood (SADC), East African Neighborhood (EAC) and the international community at giant, to induce the Rwandan authorities to in an instant and unconditionally liberate Paul Rusesabagina and guarantee him safe return to his home and family.

We extra demand the liberate of all political prisoners.

We demand an discontinue to the local climate of impunity beneath which the Executive of Rwanda operates at some stage within the place.

SPECIFIC DEMANDS:

To the Executive of Rwanda:

1.      The Rwandan Executive must in an instant and unconditionally liberate Mr. Paul Rusesabagina and guarantee his bodily protection inner and outdoors Rwanda.

2.      The Rwandan Executive must honor treaty tasks beneath the Global Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the African Structure on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Structure).

3.      Rwanda must appreciate the civil and political rights of all inner its jurisdiction, as per the tenets of shapely democracy.

4.      Cease the use of enforced disappearances and return all centered folks safely to their households.

5.      Recognize freedom of expression and discontinue the targeting of journalists.

6.    Cease the killing and torture of political prisoners

7. Recognize reasonably just a few political opinions. Enable a vogue of political opinions. Cease the intimidation of critics. Acknowledge the role of opposition and honor freedom of speech.

To African Union Member States:

1.      Recognizing that elevated political repression is rising at some stage within the continent, we plod the African Union to interact instantaneous action. The AU Stare Overview Mechanism needs to be a measure of accountability. The AU must exercise its political will to ask accountability and guarantee that AU leaders invent now no longer query themselves as above the rules. The AU must now no longer live soundless within the sunshine of rising repression.

2.      Pursue Pan-African Unity by holding political dissidents in reasonably just a few countries on the continent

3.      Recognize and offer protection to African lives, including political opposition, journalists, and human rights defenders.

4.      Defend Rwanda guilty for violations to human rights within the Democratic Republic of Congo and other neighboring States.

To Commonwealth Countries:

1.      Commonwealth countries must substitute the venue for the annual Commonwealth Summit currently planned for Rwanda in June 2021. Rwanda must now no longer be rewarded because it flouts international rules, human rights and human dignity. The Commonwealth must restful now no longer survey the erroneous manner thus rising a neighborhood climate of impunity for rogue states.

2.      Join within the ask for an just investigation into the killings of Kizito Mihigo, Bahati and other cases of forcibly disappeared political dissidents.

3.      Recognize reasonably just a few political opinions. Enable a vogue of political opinions. Cease the intimidation of critics. Acknowledge the role of opposition and honor freedom of speech.

To the Global Neighborhood:

1.      The international community must strongly condemn Rwanda’s violation of international approved pointers.

2.      The international community must urgently ask the end of unlawful extraditions as properly as the use of recount sanctioned assassinations and kidnappings of human rights defenders, opposition leaders or other critics centered by the Rwandan Executive.

3.      Countries equivalent to the USA and Belgium must wait on all militia gross sales, coaching, equipping and help to Rwanda self-discipline to appreciate for human rights, including the liberate of all political prisoners equivalent to Rusesabagina, Deo Mushayidi, others highlighted above, and many of of different prisoners of judgment of appropriate and erroneous.

4.      Reinforce the appreciate of reasonably just a few political opinions as a situation for all interactions with the Rwandan authorities, holding the expression of a vogue of political opinions, requiring a discontinue to the intimidation of critics, recognizing the role of opposition voices and honoring freedom of speech.

5.      Examine the human rights abuses being committed in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo; sooner or later sanction the culprits.

6.      To discontinue the most trendy crisis of human rights violations in Rwanda, it’s imperative that the authorities of Rwanda begins to acknowledge, respectable and considers having a dialogue with its political reviews/opponents as strategies of discovering peaceful solutions to the most trendy political and social challenges in Rwanda.

To the Of us of Rwanda:

1.      Take care of every other justly. Building better relationships in memory of the genocide.

2.      Query from your authorities a neighborhood climate of political inclusion.

3.      Advance collectively to dialogue with one one other and the diaspora so as that collectively we can work for sustainable peace for the Noteworthy Lakes Space of Africa.

To Global Campaigners and Human Rights Defenders:

1.      Employ the instruments of boycott, dispute, safe and peaceful demonstration and fabricate a giant coalition whose message is “Now not On My Watch”!

2.      Create actions to strengthen company accountability for human rights protection.

3.      Commence letter-writing campaigns to policymakers under:

Rwandan Ambassador to the USA Professor Mathilde Mukantabana: data@rwandaembassy.org

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet: infodesk@ohchr.org

EU Arrangement of business of Human Rights, Head of Division, Ms. Luisa Ragher: Luisa.ragher@eeas.europa.ecu

Belgian International Minister Sophie Wilmes: sophie.wilmes@diplobel.fed.be



LINK TO LETTER WRITING ACTION

The Advocacy Community for Africa (AdNA) is a non-partisan community of U.S.-based organizations and those that indulge in valuable focal point on Africa or U.S.-Africa members of the family of their work.

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