Rwanda Asks UN for Details After Anti-Torture Panel Halts Visit

KIGALI (Capital Markets in Africa) – Rwanda’s government called on the United Nations to publicly describe the impediments the global body said prompted its torture prevention panel to cut short a fact-finding visit to the East African country last week.

The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, which was on the fifth day of its one-week visit, said Oct. 20 it couldn’t continue because of “a series of obstructions” from authorities and fears of reprisals among those interviewed.

The government “considers the termination an act of bad faith,” Justice Minister Johnston Busingye said Monday in an emailed statement. “Any technical issues that arose during field visits were immediately resolved,” while “allegations of reprisals for anyone interviewed are baseless and inflammatory,” he said.

Rwanda, which has rebuilt in the wake of a 1994 genocide and recorded annual economic growth of more than 7 percent this decade, has been dogged by allegations of rights abuses — charges President Paul Kagame’s government denies. Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch alleged the military had detained and tortured at least 104 people suspected of being rebels or supporters of an exiled opposition group between 2010 and 2016.

Source: Bloomberg Business News

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