By Janet Nabyo
Life of prisoners and their treatments are with great concern. Indeed the ferocity of the RPF doesn’t limit on free society only but it permeates all social segments till behind bars. Last month of November a survey was carried to ten out of thirteen prisons in Rwanda. Interviews with prisoners have been done and they made it clear to us that what the Kagame regime chants about safety and human rights of jailed people are just bare lies. When we arrived at Muhanga Prison, they showed us a place called “GISIGATI”, a mass grave containing more than 3,000 skulls of prisoners slain between 1995 and 2015. Of recent, a prisoner who represented others voiced against the regime’s plan to burn prisoners in jails and the wardens of Muhanga Prison beat him up to the last breath. The late prisoner’s name was Leopold Mudahinyuka.
On the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and nineth days of the survey, the visits were conducted to the prisons of Miyove, Mageragere, Ngoma, Nyanza, Huye, Nyamagabe and Rusizi. It was amazing to see at how nonagerians and centenarians are serving prison while Rwandan law provides release on parole for prisoners aged above seventy. There were both male and female prisoners who can’t see, hear and walk because of ripe age. This merciless prison system looks quite like a rampant genocide since it is the gradual extermination of a people by prison.
When we arrived at Rubavu Central Prison, we got information that it’s managed by a warden who specialized in the regime’s torture school. This torturer’s name is Superintendent of Prison Innocent Kayumba and formerly he used to serve as a terminator in the death squads of General Gacinya at Gikondo/Kigali. Any prisoners whom the regime wants to eliminate by quick torture are urgently transferred to Rubavu Prison. For example, Secretary of FDU Inkingi Mr Sylvain Sibomana was transferred to Rubavu Prison from Gasabo Prison in May 2017. At the time of his transfer, Sylvain Sibomana weighed 78 kg and last November he was left with 48 kg. SP Innocent Kayumba treated Sylvain Sibomana animally making torture his daily bread. The victim’s body was full of bruises and scars and all the marks of bad health. I don’t think Sibomana will survive another six months if nothing changes his current situation.
Finally, we came to visit Musanze Central Prison. After seeing the atrocious things at prison, the survey was carried straight to Ruhengeri Hospital and we entered the ward where hospitalized prisoners are treated. Inside there the prisoners were tied up with manacles to their sick beds and doctors treated them tied like that. We approached the nurse and asked if and if treating tied people was medically right and kindly she replied, “From the day I started work here in 2009, things always have happened to prisoners this way. Truly I don’t know how this inhuman treatment can be cancelled because it’s done at the discretion of the State.”
To add to prisoners’ sorrows, the Kagame regime takes them to distant prisons away from their birth places. This painful deportation automatically cuts communication between the prisoners and their families. Women and girls who visit their husbands and relatives to those remote prisons encounter with terrible fates including being raped by security guards, with the risk of catching HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. So what the spokesman for Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) Chief Inspector of Prison Hillary Sengabo talks to the media about prisoners’ right, security and welfare are made up stories aiming to dupe the public.