Monitoring respect for the rights of detainees in Rwanda

18 September 2020

The Rwandan National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) are continuing to monitor the welfare of Mr Paul Rusesabagina after a private interview at Remera Police Station where he is detained.

NCHR visited Mr Rusesabagina on 16 September 2020 as part of their responsibility to monitor respect for the rights of detainees. In a meeting with the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), the Rwanda National Police (RNP), and Mr Rusesabagina’s legal counsel, the NCHR shared their findings.

NCHR also advocated for Mr Rusesabagina’s wishes to be given more time while talking to his legal counsel and to call his family members abroad more frequently.

NCHR found that:

  • His rights to social welfare are respected. He was detained individually in a spacious, self-contained room, which is clean, has enough light and fresh air, proper bedding, a mosquito net, and adequate sanitary facilities. His clothes were clean and kept in proper condition.
  • He was provided adequate food three times per day, and he has clean drinking water at all times. His health needs are correctly catered for.
  • His right to health is respected as he was immediately taken to a doctor whenever the need arises, and was provided necessary care and treatment. In particular, he is protected from COVID-19 infection with the necessary personal protective equipment and his visitors are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • He has been facilitated to speak with members of his family who live abroad.
  • He was informed of the charges against him at the time of arrest, and the statement of arrest and detention (arrest report, provisional arrest warrant) were correctly filled. During questioning his right to protection from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment was respected.
  • He personally chose two lawyers to represent him from a list provided by the Rwanda Bar Association, and is given time and facilities to engage in private communication with them for the preparation of his defense.
  • The time limit for the submission of his case file to Prosecution by RIB, the submission of the case file to the Court by Prosecution, and the time limit for the court hearing and decision on provisional detention and release, were respected

*Source – National Commission for Human Rights

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