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Space for Dissent Closes

(Nairobi) – Rwandan authorities have arrested nine people linked to an opposition party and a journalist in the last week, as they intensify their crackdown on opponents and critics, Human Rights Watch said. The crackdown appears connected to an event…
Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire leaves Nyarugenge prison, on the outskirts of Kigali, after being released on September 15, 2018.
News

Due Process and Fair Trial Violations Undermine Verdict

(Nairobi) – The conviction of the Rwandan critic and political opponent Paul Rusesabagina comes after a flawed trial that is emblematic of the government’s overreach and manipulation of the justice system, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
Paul Rusesabagina attends a court hearing in Kigali, Rwanda, February 26, 2021.
News

Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News

Follow Up Universal Periodic Review with Concrete Action

(Geneva) – United Nations member countries offered strong criticism and scores of recommendations addressing Rwanda’s human rights record during the country’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Authorities Failed to Conduct Credible Investigation into Death in Custody

(Nairobi) – Rwandan authorities have not conducted a credible and transparent investigation into the suspicious death in police custody of Kizito Mihigo, a well-known singer. It is essential to carry out an effective, independent investigation with…
Kizito Mihigo speaking to the media in Kigali on April 15, 2014 after nine days in incommunicado detention.
News

Key Suspect Arrested in France

(Paris) – The arrest of Félicien Kabuga, one of the alleged masterminds behind the Rwandan genocide, in France on May 16, 2020 brings victims and survivors one step closer to justice 26 years later. Kabuga is charged by an international…
Félicien Kabuga on his US Department of State wanted poster.
News

End Media Crackdown, Mass Arbitrary Arrests

(Nairobi) – Rwandan police have arbitrarily arrested scores of people since directives to prevent the spread of Covid-19 came into force on March 22, 2020. The authorities have accused people of violating the measures and at times detained people…
A Rwandan police officer checks the temperature of a motorist as he enforces a lockdown to stem the Covid-19 outbreak in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 15, 2020.
News

Popular Singer Died in Police Custody

The government of Rwanda should ensure a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation into the death in police custody of Kizito Mihigo, a well-known singer and activist. Rwanda’s international partners should call for…
Kizito Mihigo.
News

End Arbitrary Detention, Ill-Treatment

(Nairobi) – The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s call for Rwanda to take “urgent measures” to end abuse of street children should be carried out immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. In observations released on February 13, 2020…
Street children sit on the verandah of a house in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, on January 22, 2020.
News

UN Child Rights’ Committee Should Call for Closing Gikondo Center

(Geneva) – Rwandan authorities are seeking to formalize their abusive arrests and detention of some of the country’s most vulnerable children under the pretense of rehabilitating them, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today…
202001AFR_Rwanda_main
News

Lengthy Sentences for Ex-Military Officers’ Comments Reduced

(Nairobi) – The Rwandan Court of Appeal decision on December 27, 2019 upholding the conviction of two former military officials is a violation of freedom of speech. Although the court reduced their sentences to 15 years each, it does…
Colonel Tom Byabagamba (left) and retired Brigadier General Frank Rusagara (right) arrive at the court to appeal their 2016 conviction on charges including tarnishing the government’s image and inciting insurrection, in Kigali, Rwanda, on December 27, 201
News

World Leaders at UN Should Call for Credible Investigations

Rwanda’s international partners and the UN secretary-general should demand transparent and credible investigations into recent deaths and disappearances of opposition members when they meet with President Paul Kagame, Human Rights Watch…
Syldio Dusabumuremyi.
News

Month Later, Journalist and Opposition Member Still Missing

(Nairobi) – A journalist and an opposition member from Rwanda are still missing one month after disappearing in separate incidents. Their loved ones have not heard from them, and the authorities have revealed nothing about…
Eugène Ndereyimana (left) and Constantin Tuyishimire (right).
News

Police Shot Dead at Least 12 During Protest

  Rwandan authorities have failed to release their investigations of the fatal shooting of 12 refugees by police in western Rwanda on February 22, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. A year after the killings,…
A general view of Kiziba refugee camp in Karongi District, Rwanda February 23, 2018.
News

Beatings, Asphyxiations, Electric Shocks, Mock Executions to Extract Confessions

(Brussels) – Rwanda’s military has routinely unlawfully detained and tortured detainees with beatings, asphyxiations, mock executions, and electric shocks, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 91-page report, “‘…
Illustration for Rwanda report
News

Arrests, Enforced Disappearances, Threats Against Opponents

(Nairobi, September 29, 2017) – Rwandan authorities have arrested, forcibly disappeared, and threatened political opponents since the August 2017 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch said today. The incumbent, Paul Kagame, won the…
Would-be independent presidential candidate Diane Rwigara speaks to the media in Kigali, Rwanda, June 20, 2017.
News

Investigate Killings; Suspend Implicated Commanders

  (Nairobi) – State security forces in Rwanda have summarily killed at least 37 suspected petty offenders and forcibly disappeared four others since April 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
Image of men and women who were executed for petty crimes in Rwanda
News

Another Party Member Detained; Journalist Dropped From Sight

Update: On March 6, 2017, journalist John Ndabarasa resurfaced in Kigali, more than six months after his disappearance in August 2016. He told media that he had fled the country, but decided voluntarily to come back. The story raised a lot of suspicion.…
Rwandan political activist Illuminée Iragena, missing since March 26, 2016.
News

Financial Crisis Threatens Basic Protections

(Washington, D.C.) – Member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) should promptly ensure that the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights receives enough financial support to fulfill its mandate, Human Rights…
A protester holds up a sign next to relatives of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos during a march in Mexico City
News

Serious Free Speech, Assembly Violations Linked to Elections

(Nairobi) – Governments in East Africa made little or no progress on human rights in 2015, and the situation in some countries, such as Burundi, sharply deteriorated, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016.Ethiopia and Burundi, and to some…
On October 13, 2015, police shot dead Christophe Nkezabahizi, his wife, nephew, and his two teenage children in Bujumbura. No one has been held accountable for their deaths.