On this international day for the victims of enforced disappearances, 30/8/2020, the Global Campaign for Rwandans Human Rights (GCRHR) stands with victims and their families around the world.

Enforced Disappearance is particularly a heinous violation of human rights and international law. On this occasion, GCRHR call for all Rwandans and the international community to stand up for them too and seek the truth about their disappearance.

The Global Campaign for Rwandans Human Rights (GCRHR) strongly condemns the Government of Rwanda’s persistent abusive effort to silence the perceived political opponents with arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Since coming to power, the Rwandan government has consistently used enforced disappearance to eliminate perceived opponents. These crimes are well documented but no one has ever been brought to justice and Rwandans perceived as an opponent by the government keep on disappearing.

The latest victim of enforced disappearance to join a long list of others who have gone missing under mysterious circumstances under the RPF-Inkotanyi regime is Mr Venant Abayisenga, a member of an unregistered political party DALFA-Umurinzi who disappeared in June 2020.
He joined other oppositions members including :

  • Mr Eugene Ndereyimana of the FDU-Inkingi party who disappeared on 15 July 2019
  • Mr Boniface Twagirimana, the deputy leader of FDU-Inkingi who disappeared from his prison cell in Mpanga in October 2018 and
  • Ms Illuminée Iragena, a political activist and a member of FDU-Inkingi who disappeared in March 2016.

Both the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which came into force on 1 July 2002, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2006, state that, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed at any civilian population, a “forced disappearance” qualifies as a crime against humanity and, thus, is not subject to a statute of limitations. 

Under these international laws, the victims’ families have the rights to seek reparations and to demand the truth about the disappearance of their loved ones while the Rwandan society has a right to know what happened to their countrymen.

The Global Campaign is calling upon all Rwandans and the international community to stand up for the disappeared and to work together to find the truth about their disappearance. 

London, 30th August 2020

Jean-Marie Minani
Head of Justice
Global Campaign for Rwandans Human Rights