Rwandan National Commission for Human Rights has castigated rights groups including the US based Human Rights Watch for always publishing inaccurate reports on the East African country. Some of the reports allege Rwanda’s military is involved in “extrajudicial executions” of citizens.
“Based on the findings of our report, we call upon international and national institutions to which the Human Rights Watch report was submitted to disregard its contents including the recommendations because the entire report is built on fabricated information,” the Chairperson of the Commission, Nirere Madeleine said.
One of HRW reports released in Jully this year on Rwanda said Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least 37 suspected petty offenders in Rwanda’s Western Province between July 2016 and March 2017. The report said soldiers arbitrarily arrested and shot most of the victims, in what appears to be an officially sanctioned strategy to execute suspected thieves, smugglers, and other petty offenders, instead of prosecuting them.
In its report at a press conference in Kigali on Friday, Rwandan National Commission for Human Rights presented findings of its inquiry, which indicated that seven people reported as having been executed by the HRW report are still alive. They include Nsanzabera Tharcisse (serving a sentence in Nyakiriba Prison/Rubavu), Majyambere Alphonse (lives in Boneza Sector/Rutsiro District), Nyirabavakure Daphrose (lives in DRC with her husband), Karasankima Jovan (lives in Nyabirasi Sector/Ngororero District), Habyalimana Elias (lives in Belgium since 2009), Nzamwitakuze Donat (lives in Uganda with his wife) and Hanyurwabake Emmanuel (lives on Idjwi Island, DRC).
Madeleine revealed that four people that HRW claims were executed, died of disease, naming one of them as Uwintwali Thaddé who died of a long illness on 25 September 1999 but HRW report said Uwintwali had been executed by soldiers on 13 December 2016 for stealing a goat.
The Minister of Justice Johnson Busingye said the repetition of false accusations without evidence against Rwanda will never make the reports of HRW true and warned such campaign will never crash Kigali’s decisiveness.
“In 2014, we put HRW’s researcher Lewis Mudge on the spot over likely sympathies with Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Rwanda rights commission now cites him for likely malicious/harmful propaganda,” Busingye said in a tweet.
The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, some of whose leaders are linked to the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda operate in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda has said in the past that despite the country’s efforts to perform and right the wrongs beyond expectations, what the country is receiving in return from these organisations is condemnation and being wrongly judged.
“There is no truth in the Human Rights Watch Report. Rwanda is a party to, and observes the Convention against Torture as well as domestic laws. Human Rights Watch has recycled old and discredited, baseless allegations for which they have no credible evidence,” Minister Busingye added.