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Rwanda: Further information on fear for safety / fear of ill-treatment / arbitrary arrest / possible extrajudicial execution and new concern: possible prisoner of conscience

, N° d'index: AFR 47/016/1997

Amiel Nkuriza, director of Intego and editor-in chief of the Le Partisan was arrested on 13 May 1997 in Kigali and is currently detained at the civilian prison at Kimironko. There is concern that he may have been arrested because of the perception of his newspaper as critical of the government and that he may be a prisoner of conscience. He has been arrested and subsequently released on at least three previous occasions in 1996 and 1997.

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
conscience
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
been made.
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
language:
- 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.
APPEALS TO:
Prime Minister
Monsieur Pierre-Célestin RWIGEMA
Premier Ministre
Présidence de la Républiqur
BP 15, Kigali, Rwanda
Faxes: +250 83714
Telegrams: Premier Ministre, Kigali, Rwanda
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Ministre / Dear Prime Minister
2
Minister of Information
Jean Népomuscène NAYINZIRA
Ministre de l'Information et Porte-parole du gouvernement
Ministère de l'Information
BP 1532, Kigali, Rwanda
Telegrams: Ministre de l'Information, Kigali, Rwanda
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Dear Minister
Director of Rwandese Information Office
Major Wilson RUTAYISIRE
Directeur, Office rwandais de l'Information (ORINFOR)
Kigali, Rwanda
Fax: +250 76185
Telegrams: Directeur, ORINFOR, Kigali, Rwanda
Salutation: Monsieur le Directeur / Dear Director
Minister of Interior
Cheikh Abdul KARIM HARELIMAN
Ministre de l'Intérieur
BP 446, Kigali, Rwanda
Faxes: +250 84373; 83374
Telegrams: Ministre de l'Intérieur, Kigali, Rwanda
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Vice-President/Minister of Defence
Général Major Paul Kagame
Vice-Président de la République et Ministre de la Défense
Présidence de la République, BP 15, Kigali, Rwanda
Fax: +250 72431; 76969
and to diplomatic representatives of Rwanda accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 11 June 1997.

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