’The Commonwealth should urge the Rwandan Government to take a great leap forward to improve its human rights record prior to CHOGM ‘’

PRESS RELEASE N°11/PS.IMB/NB/2022

Ahead of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2022, the Social Party Imberakuri is of the view that it is both convenient and appropriate for the Commonwealth to urge, prior to CHOGM, the Rwandan Government to send strong signals through concrete actions and measures to improve its humans rights record otherwise CHOGM will remain as a bad experience for Rwandans who are today undergoing the untold suffering of the gross violation human rights values in Rwanda.

Indeed, Rwanda’s human rights abuses were, among other reasons, why the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) recommended that the 21st CHOGM, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in November 2009, not make a decision aboutRwanda’s membership application to The Commonwealth..

To fool the international community, the Rwandan Government has adopted a Constitution that guarantees the freedom of expression as well as the principle of separation of power to guarantee the rule of law. However, in practice, this Constitution is more bluster than fact since Rwandan citizens who dare to criticise the government or the ruling party are repressed.

To contribute to the improvement of human rights situation, the opposition leaders based in Rwanda have prepared a ‘’ Road Map for Promising Future of Rwanda’ which has been submitted to the Presidency Office on June 24, 2021 for appropriate attention. It encompasses various points ranging from political issues to socio-economic ones with the main purpose of achieving the reform of Rwandan governance through an inclusive dialogue between the Rwandan Government and the opposition.

The Social Party Imberakuri hopes that the 26th Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) will be a great opportunity to participants to require the Rwandan Government to implement different recommendations highlighted in this ‘’ Road Mad’’ which should be implemented by 2024, before the term office of the incumbent President.

Considering that Rwanda will take over the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office for the next two years, after hosting the 26th Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to take place in June 2022, the Social Party Imberakuri is of the view that ahead of the CHOGM, the Commonwealth authorities should require the Rwandan Government to send clear and strong signals through concrete actions and measures which are in line with the Commonwealth core values.

Indeed, the ‘’ Road Map’’ mentioned above has given some clues of those measures, including but not limited to the release of all political prisoners and journalists, registration of genuine opposition parties , issuing of passports to all opposition leaders , if need be, including the Founding President of the Social Party Imberakuri, in order to freely enjoy their absolute freedom of movement, rehabilitation of all opposition leaders condemned after the politically motived trials, including the Founding President of the Social Party Imberakuri, in order to enable them to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, removal all illegal measures preventing opposition leaders from resuming their professional activities in order to provide for their needs. The case of the Founding President of the Social Imberakuri; Maître NTAGANDA Bernard who has been denied his absolute right to resume his professional activities as advocate best illustrates this unacceptable situation.

Done at Kigali, on June 16, 2022
Me NTAGANDA Bernard
Founding President of the Social Party Imberakuri Candidate for Presidential Elections of 2024 (Sé)

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