Rwanda: ongoing mistreatment of political prisoners

Some Rwandan political leaders in prison

Some Rwandan political leaders in prison. Charles Ntakirutinka [on the right], former minister in the government of former president Pasteur Bizimungu, was released on March 1st, 2012 after completing his sentence of 10 years in prison.

It is not surprising to learn about how Rwandan prison authorities abuse human rights of inmates to the point that many become handicapped forever. The press release provided by the Vice President of the Social Party- Imberakuri gives readers a telling update on the sad conditions of detention of some of its leaders.

PRESS RELEASE No 010/P.S. IMB/013

Referring to reliable information from various prisons in Rwanda where both regular and political prisoners are detained, reporting of ill-treatment on detainees including denial of access to medical care, prolonged detention for those who have served their sentences, the Social Party Imberakuri would like to inform Rwandans and friends of Rwanda about the following:

The Social Party IMBERAKURI denounces strongly these despicable acts of abuse including the refusal to medical care, detention in solitary confinement without light causing loss of sight, or access to other social services when well even some penitential agents who tried to carry out their duty were dismissed from their jobs or were forced to disciplinary changes. These acts are especially reported in prisons of Mpanga, Remera, Kigali, Cyangugu and Nsinda. In these prisons, inmates are so mistreated that the prison administration has to hide them in the wing for children during the visits of human rights organizations. In Kigali prison, things have reached an alarming proportion since inmates are routinely beaten until they become infirm including total blindness. We can cite the cases of MBIRWABUMVA Simeon RWANDANGA Froduard, KARUTA Innocent and MUSABYIMANA. It is also reported the cases of untreated leprosy.

…inmates are so mistreated that the prison administration has to hide them in the wing for children during the visits of human rights organizations.

Acts of persecution have increased significantly since 2013 and penitential agents reprimanded for trying to satisfactorily perform their duties confirmed that the prisoners were being subjected to inhuman treatment such as the ban on travel to medical appointments and once in doctor’s offices, they are asked to pay some administrative costs while as we know the inmates are not entitled to have the money on them.

In particular, the Social Party IMBERAKURI is concerned about the health of Me Bernard Ntaganda, President of our party and the other prisoners. Indeed it is now two years since Mr. Bernard Ntaganda suffers from stomach pain but the prison administration continues to press its repressive machine up to refuse to take him to the hospital for a medical appointment. One of these cases occurred on June 7, 2013 where Mr. Mupenzi appointed in charge of the intelligence denied Me Bernard Ntaganda the permission to leave to go to Butare hospital for medical examination. Also it has been reported that the prison guards do not hesitate to break into the treatment room, depriving the detainees of medical confidentiality.

This case occurred on 21/05/2013 at Butare hospital and when the doctor refused this intrusion, Mr. Ntaganda was taken out the hospital without treatment.
PS IMBERAKURI party condemns with all his energy the despicable behavior of prison guards such as Mupenzi and Rulinda Charles in charge of intelligence at Mpanga Prison, who continue to torture detainees at that facility. Mr. Mupenzi clearly notified to Me Bernard Ntaganda that his life was in his hands. These kinds of talks have no comment.

The Social Party IMBERAKURI is concerned by the miserable life in which are surviving inmates in Rwanda. Therefore, the PS IMBERAKURI party asks the prison administration to resolve without delay all such restrictions especially by caring for the health of prisoners and by releasing without delay those prisoners who have served their sentences. The party takes this opportunity to call Friends of Rwanda, national and international human rights organizations, to kindly add their voices to ours asking loudly that the problems prevailing in prisons in Rwanda be resolved quickly.

Done in Kigali, June 19, 2013
Alexis Bakunzibake
First Vice-President

Advertisements

What is your opinion about this?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s