Dumping ground for the “underdogs” of Rwandan capital Kigali exposed by HRW – but just a tip of an iceberg.

Press release N° 002/2015

The political platform composed of political organisations Amahoro PC, FDU-Inkingi, PDP – Imanzi, PS-Imberakuri and Rwanda National Congress – RNC would like to express its gratitude to the Human Rights Watch for calling for the closure of the Unofficial Detention Centre in Gikondo – Rwanda.

The platform is quite pleased that the Human Rights organisation has helped to demonstrate with this small but sad story, the true nature of the Rwandan regime: lack of empathy and disregard for the disadvantaged people in the community, mockery of the rule of law, cynicism and obsession with external image at the expense of its own citizens. As Daniel Bekele, the Africa Director at the Human Rights Watch points out, the positive image of Kigali as clean and tidy is highly paid by the underdogs of the city: the socially and politically excluded i.e. street vendors, sex workers, beggars, homeless people, and suspected petty criminals who are forcefully collected as refuse from the streets of Kigali and dumped in a centre away from the eyes of external visitors. “The contrast between the immaculate streets of central Kigali and the filthy conditions in Gikondo couldn’t be starker”, the HRW points out.

The underlying part of the iceberg

The platform has learnt from reliable retired intelligence officers that this centre which is run by the Police also serves as a screening place for suspected members of the FDLR and other opposition groups who undergo torture before they are transferred to DMI torture chambers in Nasho and Kami Barracks for further interrogations. Some of these suspects and others, picked at random, are said to be sent among others to Nasho military camp that trains military interrogators and they are used as Guinea pigs for trial in various interrogation techniques or chemical substances used to kill or debilitate critics. According to credible sources the trainers include North Koreans. Those who do not survive the interrogation techniques are thrown away, especially when they have no relatives or the latter are not aware of their whereabouts.

The Platform would like to call for the immediate closure of the dumping centre for the poor and destitute and condemns in the strongest terms possible the use of the poor as guineas pigs in the research for the most effective interrogations techniques.

Brussels October 13, 2015

Joseph Bukeye

Chair Platform

[email protected]

Dumping ground for the underdogs of Rwandan capital Kigali exposed by HRW – but just a tip of an iceberg (PDF)