Category Archives: Africa

KWIBUKA JENOSIDE YAKOREWE ABAHUTU UMUNSI WA KABIRI

Tariki ya 02/10/2022

Kwibuka jenoside yakorewe abahutu guhera : Umunsi wa kabiri : Kuzirikana ubwicanyi bwakorewe kandi bukomeje gukorerwa intiti n’abanyabwenge b’abahutu

Indege ya Perezida HABYARIMANA ikimara guhanurwa, ingabo za FPR zahise zitangira gukusanya no kwica Abahutu b’ABANYABWENGE i Remera.

Muri kariya gace ka Remera mu mujyi wa Kigali, FPR kandi yica abantu 121, cyane cyane Abahutu b’abanyabwenge n’imiryango yabo yose, hagendewe ku rutonde rwari rwarateguwe mbere.

Harimo uwahoze ari perefe wa Kigali; Claudien Habarushaka, wahoze ari perefe wa Ruhengeri; Marcel Munyangabe, wahoze ari Perezida w’Urukiko rw’Ubugenzuzi n’abagize umuryango we; Sylvestre Bariyanga n’umuryango we wose; Émile Nyungura hamwe n’umuryango we wose (umuhungu we, umuririmbyi Corneille ubarizwa muri Kanada, niwe warokotse wenyine); Emmanuel Bahigiki n’umuryango we wose; Iréné Kayibanda, umuhungu w’uwahoze ari perezida Grégoire Kayibanda; Muhamud Rahamatar; Félicien Mbanzarugamba, wahoze ari minisitiri w’abaminisitiri; Benoît Ntigurirwa, n’abandi benshi.

Alison Des Forges wa Human Rights Watch (HRW) yatangaje ibi bikurikira, mu 1999  :

“Mu munsi umwe cyangwa ibiri nyuma yo kubura imirwano [6 Mata 1994], abasirikare ba FPR batangiye kwica abantu bafitanye isano na guverinoma y’u Rwanda, ingabo, cyangwa imitwe ya politiki yatekerezaga ko yanga FPR. Kenshi na kenshi, abo basirikare bashakishaga abahutu mu ngo zabo kandi bakica n’abagize umuryango cyangwa abandi, bashoboraga kuzaba abatangabuhamya. Ku ya 9 Mata, ingabo za FPR zishe Sylvestre Bariyanga wahoze ari perefe wa Ruhengeri n’umuryango we mu gace ka Remera ka Kigali. Inzo ngabo kandi zishe Col. Pontien Hakizimana wahoze ari umupolisi w’igihugu, umugore we n’abana be na Major Helene Bugenimana, umupolisi w’igihugu, hamwe n’abana be batatu, bari kwa Hakizimana.

Ku ya 12 Mata, abasirikari ba FPR bambaye imyambaro yi’ngabo z’igihugu bishe Emile Nyungura, umuyobozi w’ishyaka PSD. Mu gice cya Gishushu cya Kigali, ingabo za FPR zishe Felicien Mbanzarugamba, umuyobozi w’uruganda rukora inzoga rwa Bralirwa ndetse n’abandi,  zishe Emmanuel Hitayezu wahoze ari minisitiri w’igenamigambi ndetse n’umugore w’umututsi. Théoneste Mujyanama wawahoze ari minisitiri w’ubutabera n’umuryango we bishwe ku ya 16 Mata naho Phénéas Bwanakeye wakomokaga ku Kibuye yiciwe hamwe n’abandi mirongo itatu na babiri mu rugo rw’umuhungu we mu gice cya Remera cya Kigali.

Ku ya 13 Mata, Emmanuel Bahigiki wahoze ari umunyamabanga mukuru wa minisiteri ishinzwe igenamigambi, yavuye mu rugo rwe n’umuryango we ndetse n’Abatutsi bamwe na bamwe yari yahishe ashorewe n’abasirikare ba FPR; abatutsi basabwe gukomeza ariko bagiye kumva bumva amasasu menshi y’ingabo za FPR ahitana Bahigiki n’umuryango we. Claudien Habarushaka wahoze ari perefe wa Kigali, aheruka kugaragara ashorewe n’abasirikare ba FPR.

Abantu batari bake bahungiye kuri MINUAR kuri stade Amahoro bajyanywe n’abasirikare ba FPR hanyuma “barazimira.” Muri bo harimo Charles Ngendahimana, murumuna wa umunyapolitiki wishwe Emmanuel Gapyisi, na Dogiteri Prudence, umuganga wavuraga abakomeretse bari aho kuri sitade”.

Liyetona Abdul Joshua RUZIBIZA, wahoze ari umusirikare wa FPR yemera ko bitwaje intwaro batangiye guhiga abanyabwenge b’Abahutu mu mujyi wa Kigali kuva ku ya 13 Mata 1994.

Abivuga muri aya magambo:

Ikindi gikorwa, cyakozwe na bataillon ya 3, DMI n’intagondwa za FPR, ni ugutoranya no gushimuta Abahutu aho bajyanwaga ari imbohe na APR mu mujyi wa Kigali. Iki gikorwa cyakozwe n’abantu bazi umujyi wa Kigali neza n’abanyapolitiki barinzwe na FPR. Ni bwo Kapiteni Charles KARAMBA, Kapiteni Jean Damascène SEKAMANA, Serija Deus KAGIRANEZA hamwe n’abandi bashinzwe iperereza bakoze urutonde rw’Abahutu bagomba kwicwa bitwaje ko bize, cyangwa abahutu bafite imiryango ikomeye. Igikorwa cyari cyoroshye kuko bakuye amakuru mu miryango y’abatutsi y’impunzi kuri stade Amahoro i Remera cyangwa muri CND”.

Ubwicanyi bwakorewe abahutu ni jenoside. Nawe ushobora gushyira umukono ku nyandiko yabigenewe mu rwego rwo guaranira ubutabera.

THE US SECRETARY OF STATE’S VISIT TO RWANDA SHOULD SPARK THE OPENING OF THE POLITICAL SPACE

PRESS RELEASE N° ISH2022/08/006

THE US SECRETARY OF STATE’S VISIT TO RWANDA SHOULD SPARK THE OPENING OF THE POLITICAL SPACE

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On behalf of members of ISHEMA Party and on behalf of all Rwandans, we would like to welcome the United States (US) Secretary of State, Hon Antony BLINKEN to the country of a thousand hills, Rwanda.

On this occasion, it is imperative to raise some important issues faced by our people because of lack of good governance, violations of human rights, lack of an open political space, which, if not well managed are driving the country and the whole region into a chaotic end. The American government has played a major role in supporting the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) despite its liberticide and warmongering nature in the Great Lakes region. While the RPF has a heavy responsibility, its partners, and donors such as the US cannot escape the public judgement. To confront these ills and correct what is popularly seen as mistakes of the past, a call to act is sent to the American People as well as to all the international community.

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RWANDA: Kuzahura ubukungu birasaba kuva mu marangamutima , kureka icyenewabo n’itekinika.

Ndatekereza ko mu gihe tugezemo, igihugu kidakwiye kuyoborwa bigendeye ku kuraguza umutwe, cyangwa uko umuntu yaramutse. Ibyemezo bifatwa bigomba kuba biturutse ku bushakashatsi buturutse kuri facts (empirical evidence) kandi hatarimo itekinika. Ibyemezo kandi bigomba kuba bihiswemo kuko ubushashatsi bwerekanye ko aribyo birusha inyungu ibindi byemezo byose byashoboraga gufatwa. Aha hakoreshwa icyitwa “cost-benefit analysis”, ni ukuvuga kureba buri cyemezo ibyo cyadusaba ushyize mu gaciro k’amafaranga n’inyungu cyatuzanira. Iyo inyungu ariyo iri hejuru icyo cyemezo nicyo gihitwamo. Urugero: Kugereranya hagati yo gushyiraho minisiteri cyangwa gushyiraho direction muri minisiteri isanzweho. Cyangwa se gushyiraho Komisiyo y’abadepite aho guha akazi bureau d’études,… Bityo bityo.

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Congress to investigate Kagame’s spy actions against Americans with Pegasus

Last year, the world was shocked to learn that Rwandan President Paul Kagame was using Israeli spy software, Pegasus to spy on his perceived enemies. They include Americans. One American citizen he targeted is Carine Kanimba. She found out the security on her phone had been compromised when she was in Belgium advocating for her father’s release.

Kanimba said, “It was bad enough that they kidnapped my father, tortured him, and robbed him of his legal rights. Now we find out that they have listened to my conversations with the US State Department, Belgium Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes, and our attorneys. This adds insult to injury.”

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World’s ‘most inhumane’ jail where ‘prisoners eat bodies of dead lags to survive’

Rwanda’s Gitarama prison can lay claim to the dubious honour of being the filthiest, most overcrowded and most brutal jails on Earth, even though a former governor admits it’s ‘possible’ that some of its inmates are innocent.

Gitarama Prison is considered to be one of the most hellish places on Earth.

The brutal jail on the outskirts of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, was built in 1960 as housing for British workers. It was later converted into a jail designed to hold around 400 prisoners.

It currently holds over 7,000, and at its peak after the horrifying Rwandan genocide of the mid-1990s, was estimated to hold closer to 50,000 inmates.

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Testimony: ON THIS DAY MAY 15, 1997, IN MY HISTORY; The Fall of Mobutu Sese Seko and Kinshasa

When we arrived in Kinshasa a week before the fall of Mobutu. It was during that time that General Donatien Mahele Lieko Bokungu (aka Mayere) was killed by what is believed to be the Mobutu’s son a day before Mobutu’s overthrow. It is said that he had started negotiations with Kagame’s soldiers for a peaceful surrender of Kinshasa to the Kabila’s rebels without a fight.

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Un jour avec Denis Mukwege, Nobel de la paix contraint de vivre sous protection

Il est célèbre dans le monde entier pour son combat en faveur des femmes violées, ces corps « transformés en champs de bataille » que le gynécologue formé à Angers tente de réparer. Et obtenir, pour toutes les victimes des carnages perpétrés au Congo, justice et vérité.

Denis Mukwege, 67 ans, prix Nobel de la paix (2018), a nommé les crimes, les violences sexuelles, les monstruosités subies par les femmes en République du Congo.

Il a, le temps d’un passage à Paris, troqué sa blouse de chirurgien pour un élégant costume et reçoit chaleureusement quelques journalistes et représentants d’ONG dans un discret hôtel parisien. Denis Mukwege, 67 ans, vit en permanence sous protection depuis qu’il dénonce, avec le renfort et l’autorité de son prix Nobel de la paix décerné en 2018, les carnages incompréhensibles perpétrés en République démocratique du Congo.

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Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s family file $400m suit against gov’t

Paul Rusesabagina is serving 25 years in prison in Rwanda on terrorism charges which his supporters say are a sham.

Published On 30 Apr 2022

The family of Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism during the 1994 Rwandan genocide was depicted in the Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda, have filed a $400m lawsuit in the US over his alleged abduction and torture by the government in Kigali.

The lawsuit names the government of Rwanda, President Paul Kagame, and other senior officials including the former justice minister and intelligence chief.

“The complaint alleges that the Government of Rwanda and high-ranking Rwandan officials conspired to facilitate and execute an elaborate plot to lure Paul Rusesabagina from his home in Texas to Rwanda, where he would be tortured and illegally detained,” the family and his lawyers said in a statement on Saturday.

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Westminster may have shunned Putin, but its continued support of autocratic leaders stinks of hypocrisy

Among other despots the government courts, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame can match Russia’s for cold-hearted ruthlessness. So much for resistance in defence of democracy

From left to right, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt's president, Boris Johnson, U.K. prime minister, Paul Kagame, Rwanda's president, and Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's president, pose for a family photo with other leaders of African nations and U.K. politicians at the U.K. - Africa Investment Summit at the Intercontinental Hotel in London, U.K., on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. Johnson will reinforce his vision of a global Britain trading freely outside the EU on Monday, when he hosts African leaders at an inaugural??summit. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(L-R) Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Boris Johnson, Paul Kagame, and Muhammadu Buhari pose with other politicians and leaders of African countries at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in 2020. (Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty)
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By Ian Birrell

i columnist

March 20, 2022 3:09 pm(Updated 3:55 pm)

This is a tale of two dictators. Both have a background in espionage, trained in the dark arts of intelligence and security. Both became president in 2000 and proved themselves masters at controlling their countries by crushing dissent, stifling democracy and stealing elections. Both imprison or kill political foes, even those who fled into other nations for sanctuary. Both silence journalists and use state-controlled media to pump out a twisted narrative to further their own rule. Both treat state assets as their own. And both invade neighbouring nations and meddle abroad with disastrous consequences for millions of innocent people.

One of them is Vladimir Putin, now firmly established as Public Enemy No 1 for the free world after his latest assault on Ukraine. The full-scale invasion and atrocities unleashed by this self-serving despot have finally shocked the complacent West into action as it witnesses his attack on a sovereign nation. His misjudgement has turned Russia into a pariah state as the West tries to throttle his economy and sends his billionaire pals scurrying into safety with their stolen assets. As the Kremlin bombs cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv, Mariupol and Mykolaiv, one in four of the country’s citizens were displaced from their homes in just three weeks.

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Rwanda: Wave of Free Speech Prosecutions

(Nairobi) – Judicial authorities in Rwanda are prosecuting opposition members, journalists, and commentators on the basis of their speech and opinions, Human Rights Watch said today. Throughout 2020 and 2021, Human Rights Watch monitored trials in which judicial authorities pursued politically motivated prosecutions and perpetuated a culture of intolerance of dissent.

Less than two years out from the 2024 presidential election campaign season, the Rwandan government should ensure an end to violations against civil society activists, journalists, and opposition figures. The government should also protect their right to freedom of expression – a precondition to creating a conducive environment for free and fair elections.

“Judicial authorities in Rwanda, lacking the independence to stand up and protect free speech in accordance with international law, have unjustly convicted and jailed people based on their protected speech and opinions,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “All those jailed unjustly should be immediately and unconditionally released, and the abusive legal framework that allowed their prosecution should be reviewed and brought in line with international free speech standards.”

Since the publication of a March 2021 report on the arrests of, and threats against, several Rwandans for posts on YouTube, Human Rights Watch has monitored trials and reviewed trial documents and verdicts to examine the evidence and arguments of prosecutorial authorities, and the basis for judges’ rulings.

Researchers also reviewed content published on various channels managed by journalists and commentators on trial and interviewed 11 opposition members and people who post on YouTube. The cases documented are not exhaustive – Human Rights Watch also received information about other similar cases.

On March 3, 2022, Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to Justice Minister Emmanuel Ugirashebuja to share information about the cases it has documented and to request information on the Rwandan authorities’ steps to address violations of the right to freedom of expression. The government has not responded.

Rwanda has very few opposition parties, and human rights organizations and independent media remain weak. Victoire Ingabire, who was the president of the unregistered opposition party FDU-Inkingi before founding Dalfa-Umurinzi in November 2019, was released from prison in 2018. Members of her party have repeatedly been harassed, threatened, and arrested, or have died or disappeared in suspicious circumstances. Since October 2021, at least eight members of her party have been arrested and charged with offenses, including spreading rumors and forming a criminal association, in relation to a book they acquired and an online training session they attended to learn strategies for peaceful dissent.

Journalists using YouTube as a platform have also been targeted for prosecution for not registering with the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) or for publishing information that contradicts the government’s version of certain events, such as the suspicious death in custody of Kizito Mihigo, a gospel singer and activist, or disappearances of government opponents.

The cases of Dieudonné Niyonsenga – alias Cyuma Hassan – and Théoneste Nsengimana, which Human Rights Watch documented, could further erode journalists’ legal protections and narrow the space for media and online speech. Niyonsenga, a high-profile YouTuber, was found guilty on appeal of forgery, impersonation, hindering public works, and “humiliation of national authorities and persons in charge of public service.” The last charge, which was added during the first appeal, is no longer a criminal offense in Rwanda. The prosecution authority announced it was lodging a “second appeal” to correct the error. Its verdict is expected on March 18. On March 9, Human Rights Watch received reports and confirmed that Ishema TV was no longer available on YouTube. At time of writing, it is unclear whether the channel was removed voluntarily.

Since 1994, speaking about crimes committed by the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in the aftermath of the genocide, or sometimes even simply commemorating Hutu who were killed during the genocide, is perceived as crossing a red line, with the government presenting it as a threat to Rwandan unity, or the country’s security as a whole.

“When you are pro-government, you don’t have any problems. When you talk about bad things, you become persecuted, you are a genocide denier,” one YouTuber told Human Rights Watch.

Another said, “They take one word, and they create a crime for you…. Here, the problem is talking the truth. If you do, they go after you.”

The Rwandan government may have legitimate grounds to seek to restrict the kind of dangerous, vitriolic speech that led to the deaths of over half a million people in 1994, but current laws and practices go far beyond this purpose – creating fear and effectively stifling opinions, debate, and criticism of the government.

As Rwanda approaches the 30-year mark since the genocide, and the government aims to ramp up efforts to combat genocide ideology, there is a need to ensure that Rwandans can peacefully express legitimate grievances related to the genocide and post-genocide periods, Human Rights Watch said.

Article 38 of the 2015 Constitution protects freedom of expression but limits that protection by permitting ill-defined restrictions based on “public order, good morals, the protection of the youth and children, the right of every citizen to honor and dignity and protection of personal and family privacy.” The government, with the support of the judiciary, has used this clawback clause to impose restrictions on freedom of expression in ways that are incompatible with Rwanda’s regional and international obligations.

As Rwanda prepares to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, scheduled to take place in June, the international community should take a stand and press the authorities to stop harassing, immediately release, and drop all charges against opposition members, YouTube commentators and journalists facing abusive prosecutions that violate freedom of expression. The authorities should also open credible, independent, and transparent investigations into suspicious deaths and disappearances of critics, opposition members, civil society actors, and journalists, and prosecute those responsible.

“The evidence provided by the prosecuting authorities, and what judges have chosen to rely on to justify their conclusions, clearly demonstrates that these cases violate African and international human rights law,” Mudge said. “Prosecuting those who challenge the government of incitement to insurrection or of attempting to tarnish the country’s image is an indication of how little dissent is tolerated in Rwanda.”

For details of the recent cases, please see below.


Cases Against the Political Opposition

In October 2021, at least eight members of Victoire Ingabire’s opposition party, Dalfa-Umurinzi, were arrested in the largest crackdown against the party in recent years. Sylvain Sibomana, Alexis Rucubanganya, Hamad Hagenimana, Jean-Claude Ndayishimiye, Alphonse Mutabazi, Marcel Nahimana, and Emmanuel Masengesho were all detained in the days leading up to and following “Ingabire day,” scheduled for October 14.

On that day, Ingabire was planning to speak about political repression in Rwanda, cases of suspicious deaths, killings, disappearances, and abusive prosecutions. Théoneste Nsengimana, a journalist who was planning to cover the event, was arrested on October 13 and is being tried with the group of seven.

Criminal charges of “spreading false information or harmful propaganda with intent to cause a hostile international opinion against Rwandan government” and “formation of or joining a criminal association” were brought against Sibomana, Rucubanganya, Hagenimana, Ndayishimiye, Mutabazi, Nahimana, and Masengesho. On November 9, during a pretrial hearing, the Kicukiro court said it is also considering evidence to support other, undetermined charges against them. The prosecution contended that the defendants were also responsible for inciting insurrection.

Claudine Uwimana, a party member who was arrested on December 14 in Rutsiro, is being tried separately. She is charged with spreading false information, publishing rumors, forming a criminal association, and inciting insurrection, and has been denied bail.

The arrests send a clear message to those who may wish to mobilize, organize, or campaign on a political platform in the lead-up to the elections that efforts to peacefully change the power structures in place can be considered a criminal offense, Human Rights Watch said.

In both cases, the prosecution based its accusations on the group’s decision to acquire “Blueprint for Revolution,” a book written by Srdja Popovic, and to follow a training organized by the author’s organization, Canvas – the Center for Applied Non-Violent Actions and Strategies. Both the book and the training focus on peaceful strategies to resist authoritarianism, such as nonviolent protest, noncooperation, boycott, and mobilization. The prosecution used as evidence the contents of the book and training, the use of Jitsi – an encrypted online communication platform – and the use of pseudonyms during the training.

The prosecution also accused the group of planning activities such as mobilizing, among others, street vendors and others who are routinely rounded up and subjected to abuse, and a commemoration of political activists and critics who have died, disappeared, or been jailed, on “Ingabire Day,” based on the strategies proposed during the training.

Social protest and mobilization offer people the opportunity to peacefully communicate legitimate complaints and grievances. Governments have a responsibility to create a safe and enabling environment for individuals and groups to exercise their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, of expression, and of association.

Journalists Under Threat

Dieudonné Niyonsenga

Dieudonné Niyonsenga, also known as “Cyuma Hassan,” runs Ishema TV, a popular YouTube channel on which he has published his sensitive and critical reports. Ishema TV has millions of views, and Niyonsenga is one of the most popular YouTube contributors in Rwanda.

In April 2020, police arrested Niyonsenga and his driver, Fidèle Komezusenge, as they were reporting on the impact of the Covid-19 guidelines on vulnerable populations in a poor neighborhood of Kigali. Niyonsenga and Komezusenge were accused of forgery, impersonating journalists, and hindering public works for being outside during lockdown without a valid RMC-issued press card. Both spent almost a year in detention, but then were acquitted on March 12, 2021. After his release, Niyonsenga gave several interviews on YouTube describing his treatment in detention. In one, he said:

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