Rwanda: victims of enforced disappearances deserve justice
Multiple political opponents of the Rwandan government have gone missing in what appear to be cases of enforced disappearance that Amnesty International has investigated in recent years. Take action now to demand justice for the victims and their families.
Opposition United Democratic Forces (FDU-Inkingi) member Illuminée Iragena disappeared while on her way to work at the King Faisal Hospital in the capital, Kigali, in March 2016.
FDU-Inkingi Vice-President Boniface Twagirimana was in detention at Mpaga Prison in the southern district of Nyanza pending the completion of his trial on charges of forming an illegal armed group and conspiring against the government when, according to the authorities, he escaped from the maximum-security prison on 8 October 2018. He has not been seen since.
Eugène Ndereyimana, another member of FDU-Inkingi, was reported missing by his colleagues on 15 July 2019, when he failed to show up for a party meeting in Nyagatare District in Eastern Province.
Jean-Damascène Munyeshyaka, the National Organizing Secretary of the opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, went missing in June 2014. His party colleagues reported his disappearance and followed-up regularly with the relevant authorities, but he remains unaccounted for’.
Despite their initial commitments to investigate, Rwandan authorities have failed to provide public updates on investigations into these probable cases of enforced disappearance.
Rwanda expressed its willingness to accept the recommendations made during its 2015-16 Universal Periodic Review to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, but noted that “the ratification of international instruments can only take place after the consultation and approval of the Parliament of Rwanda”. However, Rwanda’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (2017-2020) makes no mention of any plans to effect outstanding ratifications, and Amnesty International is not aware of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances having been submitted for debate in Parliament.