Rwanda: Secretary General of FDU-Inkingi, once again battered by the security services.

Bwana Sibomana

Kigali, 14th May 2013.

On the night Friday the 10th of May 2013, security officers at the detention centre of Kimirinko once again battered Sylvain Sibomana, Secretary General of FDU-Inkingi and his colleague Shyirambere Dominique member of FDU-Inkingi. During the day they were denied food brought to them by the family during the permitted regular Friday visits. Mr Sylvain Sibomana needs special diet due to his health problems and medical papers were presented to prison authorities 4 weeks ago to no avail. They have now even refused him access to food brought once a week on Fridays by family members. He is obliged to eat maize, given to ordinary prisoners who have no health problem. He is not even allowed to buy food from the canteen inside prison. Consequently his health has been deteriorating.

We are very concerned that prison authorities are subjecting Sylvain Sibomana to slow death especially that he has not yet recovered from the battering he received on the 25th of March 2013 at the hands of the National Police at the time of his arrest and at the preventive detention centre of Gasabo.

We would like to recall that that on the 25th of March 2013, Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, was battered with other members of FDU-Inkingi who had come to attend the Supreme Court hearing in the appeal case of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.

On the 10th of April 2013, a judge of the intermediate court of Gasabo had ruled at the request of the Public Prosecution to extend the period of preventive detention to another 30 days, which has now elapsed, and to be transferred to the Kimironko prison. Mr Sibomana had submitted within the required deadline an appeal against the extension. However, the High Court has neither acknowledged receipt of the appeal nor set a date for a hearing.

We consider that apart from the irregularities of the detention of  Mr. Sylvain Sibomana and his colleague, beating and depriving him of food amount to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

In consideration of the fact that the prohibition on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is one of the most important provisions in the International Human Rights conventions to which Rwanda is party and that it is an absolute right not to be subjected to torture under any circumstance, we appeal to those who have political and economic leverage on Rwanda government to demand that it ceases torturing and illegally detaining its own citizens, specifically Mr. Sylvain Sibomana and his colleagues.


Boniface Twagirimana
Interim Vice-President