Rwanda: Locking Up the Poor

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New Findings of Arbitrary Detention, Ill-Treatment in “Transit Centers”

The arbitrary arrest of poor people is part of an unofficial government practice to hide “undesirable” people from view, and contrasts with the Rwandan government’s impressive efforts to reduce poverty, Human Rights Watch said. Street vendors, many of them women, have been among the main targets. On May 25, the mayor of Kigali called street vendors “an impediment to cleanliness” and told them to form cooperatives.

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