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US Pins Rwanda on Serious Human Rights Abuses

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The United States Of America’ State Department 2016 report on human rights has implicated Rwanda government and the country’s security services as one of the leading abusers of human rights in the region.

The reports that was released on March 3rd indicates that the Rwanda National Police (RNP), National Intelligence and Security service services have continued to seriously abuse the human rights of the citizens through various ways which include extra judicial killings, disappearances ,Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment . In the 49 page dossier called “security forces’ disregard for the rule of law.” some of the examples cited included the killing of Muslims under unclear circumstances for example on January 23, the Rwanda National Police (RNP) shot and killed Muslim Imam Mohamed Mugemangango while he was in custody.
The RNP reported Mugemangango was trying to escape while in transit from his residence to the Kanombe police station, on August 19; RNP officers shot and killed three other Muslim community members in Bugarama under unclear circumstances with only the RNP coming out to state that three were trying to escape after resisting arrest.
This incident came two days after the RNP in Kigali shot and killed another Muslim, Channy Mbonigaba. On disappearances the reports reveals that On August 7, journalist John Ndabarasa disappeared.
Ndabarasa is the brother-inlaw of Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard to the president, who was convicted of eight charges, including terrorism and treason, and sentenced to life in prison in 2014 after being deported from Uganda, a move condemned by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), HRW, and Amnesty International as a violation of the principle of non refoulement.
The RNP opened an investigation into Ndabarasa’s disappearance and immediately issued a statement suggesting he had departed the country. Ndabarasa’s family members and domestic human rights groups disputed this claim.
The Kigali government is also pinned on arresting and intimidating individuals seen as apolitical threats to the president without committing them to the courts of laws while others are arrested without clear charges for example that In May authorities detained retired colonel Ben Karenzi, who served as director of the RDF’s Kanombe military hospital for traveling outside the country without authorization.
Authorities also detained several other high-ranking military officials for facilitating Kanombe’s trip to Nairobi in April but subsequently released them without filing charges.
Karenzi remained in detention and had neither been charged with a crime nor appeared in civilian or military court by year’s end. However the reports indicated that they have been improvement in the welfare of prisoners regarding health as all prisoners where all enrolled in the national health insurance system.
The list of atrocities cited by the American government report is protracted – including: Repression of individuals perceived to pose a threat to government control; Abuse of political opponents, human rights advocates; Security forces’ disregard for the rule of law; Restrictions on media freedom and civil liberties; Restrictions on the registration and operation of opposition parties

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