(Brussels) – A report published on October 13, 2017 by Rwanda’s National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) attempting to discredit Human Rights Watch documentation of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances is full of falsehoods, compounding the injustice and abuse suffered by the victims’ families, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has found that Rwandan government officials threatened and coerced victims’ family members to present false information about what happened to their loved ones. Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned about the family members’ safety.
The NCHR report purported to “know the truth” about a Human Rights Watch report released in July, that details how military, police, and auxiliary security units, sometimes with the assistance of local civilian authorities, apprehended suspected petty offenders and summarily executed them. The allegations in the NCHR report and its corresponding news conference were largely fabricated and misrepresented Human Rights Watch’s work.
“The allegations by the National Commission for Human Rights show that Rwandan authorities are unwilling to tolerate criticism or make meaningful attempts to improve the country’s human rights record,” said Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead of discussing the findings with Human Rights Watch – before publication – as requested and opening serious investigations, Rwandan officials presented false accounts and threatened those who dared to speak out about the killings.”
Source: Human Rights Watch