EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 47/12/91
18 October 1991
Further information on UA 264/91 (AFR 47/11/91, 31 July 1991) - Fear of
Torture/Legal Concern and new concern "Disappearance"
Jean Gakuru, aged 40, a businessman in the northwestern town of Gisenyi, was
arrested on 3 April 1991 by members of the Rwandese security forces and was
reported to be held at a military camp in the capital, Kigali. He had been
arrested earlier, on 21 February 1991, and had been released on 29 March 1991
without being charged or being able to ascertain the reasons for his arrest.
Amnesty International was concerned that he was being held incommunicado in
circumstances where he might be subjected to torture.
In September the Rwandese Minister in the President's office in charge of Defence
and Security (Ministre à la Présidence chargé des questions relatives à la
Défence et à la sécurité), Colonel Augustin Bem Ndindiliyimana, replied to
inquiries about the arrest of Jean Gakuru
"J'ai reçu votre lettre concernant Monsieur GAKURU Jean et les
investigations one été faites à Gisenyi et à Kigali. Les
informations qui nous sont parvenues concordent sur le fait que
l'intéressé a été arrêté au mois d'octobre denier pour complicité
dans l'affaire INKOTANYI. Il fut libéré le 28 mars 1991. Depuis
lors, il aurait quitté Gisenyi pour s'installer à Kigali, mais
on n'arrive pas à trouver ses traces."
(I have received your letter concerning Jean Gakuru and investigations have
been made at Gisenyi and at Kigali. According to information which we have
received he was arrested last October for complicity in Inkotanyi [Rwandese
Patriotic Front Rebels] activities. He was released 28 March 1991. He then
left Gisenyi to live in Kigali, and there has been no trace of him since.)
Amnesty International is concerned that Jean Gakuru may be "disappeared".
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- thanking the Minister for the information and asking if any information has
been received about Jean Gakuru since his reply in September;
- expressing concern at his possible "disappearance" and asking whether official
inquiries have been made with his family, friends and relatives as to how he
left his home on 3 April 1991;
- asking in particular whether he was taken away by members of the security
forces and, if so, whether the authorities have been able to identify those
who took him away in order to find out where he could be held;
- urging the authorities to urgently set up an independent, impartial and