The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) exerts total control over political space in Rwanda. President Paul Kagame and other government officials regularly threaten those who criticize the government or the RPF. Independent media and civil society are weak, and political space is extremely limited. Suspicious deaths and disappearances of real or perceived government critics in recent years often are not investigated and perpetrators are rarely held accountable. The judiciary lacks independence, especially in political or other sensitive cases. Arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture in official and unofficial detention facilities are common. Street children are routinely rounded up and detained in “transit centers,” where they are held in deplorable conditions and beaten.
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