from PHYLLIS BIRORI in Kigali, Rwanda
KIGALI, (CAJ News) – RWANDA is under international pressure for alleged human rights abuses.
Violations include torture and ill-treatment, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and deaths in custody.
United Nations (UN) member countries offered criticism and recommendations during Rwanda’s recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Countries bemoaned infringements on the rights of the media and nongovernmental organizations as well as violations against marginalised groups, such as children living on the streets.
Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said the criticism from countries across the world showed the international community’s concern about the human rights crisis in Rwanda.
“It’s important for these countries to follow up with the Rwandan government directly to press it to take concrete measures to adopt their recommendations,” Mudge said.
Rwanda’s administration of President Paul Kagame has over the years pledged to uphold human rights.
Kagame is credited at building a united country from the ashes of a genocide in 1994 when thousands of a minority Tutsis were slaughtered.
However, rights groups accuse Kagame’s government of being autocratic.
The Rwandan delegation to UPR dismissed allegations of torture and unlawful detention, among other violations.
– CAJ News