EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 47/16/97
16 May 1997
Further information on UA 199/96 (AFR 47/16/96, 8 August 1996) and follow-ups
(AFR 47/19/96, 15 August; AFR 47/21/96, 13 September; AFR 47/15/97, 30 April
1997) - Fear for safety / Fear of ill-treatment / Fear of arbitrary arrest
/ Possible extrajudicial execution and new concern: Possible prisoner of
RWANDAAmiel Nkuriza, journalist
Amiel Nkuriza, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Le Partisan and director
of the newspaper Intego, was arrested on the morning of 13 May 1997 at the
offices of the national printing press in the Rwandese capital, Kigali. He
was arrested by soldiers who led him to the public prosecutor’s office. From
there he was taken to the brigade at Muhima before being transferred to the
newly-opened civilian prison at Kimironko, in Kigali, where he is still
detained. There are no reports that he has been ill-treated.
Sources in Kigali indicate that the last two issues of Le Partisan had been
seized at the national printing press, which is under government control.
At the time of his arrest, Amiel Nkuriza was reportedly accused of inciting
ethnic tension through the newspaper, but no formal charges are known to have
Amnesty International is concerned that Amiel Nkuriza may have been arrested
because of the perception of his newspaper as critical of the current government
and that he may be a prisoner of conscience. He has been arrested and subsequently
released on at least three previous occasions, in June 1996, August 1996 and
in February 1997. He has also been threatened by military officials.
Conditions in Rwandese prisons are extremely poor and in some cases
life-threatening due to extreme overcrowding.
Please continue action on the killing of journalist Appolos Hakizimana, as
outlined in previous update and in addtion please send
telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in French/English or in your own
- seeking assurances that Amiel Nkuriza will be treated humanely, that his
physical safety will be guaranteed and that he is given access to his family,
medical assistance and legal counsel at all times;
- calling for Amiel Nkuriza to be promptly charged with a recognizable criminal
offence or unconditionally released;
- seeking assurances that Amiel Nkuriza has not been arrested solely for the
non-violent expression of his opinions.
Monsieur Pierre-Célestin RWIGEMA
Présidence de la Républiqur
BP 15, Kigali, Rwanda
Faxes: +250 83714
Telegrams: Premier Ministre, Kigali, Rwanda
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Ministre / Dear Prime Minister