Rwandan Government asks Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture to set records straight
Statement on SPT Mission Termination
The Government of Rwanda calls on the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture to make public the alleged impediments that the committee claims compromised its mission to Rwanda. By abruptly terminating the mission and turning to the media before discussion with the host government, the committee violated its own guidelines as well as the pre-agreed schedule of the visit.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye, said:
“Rwanda considers the termination an act of bad faith. Rwanda invited the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture for a regular monitoring mission. For five days, the committee conducted field visits to several institutions including prisons, police stations, transit centers, and a psychiatric hospital, interviewing staff, inmates, and patients.
Any technical issues that arose during field visits were immediately resolved. Allegations of reprisals for anyone interviewed are baseless and inflammatory. While we will continue to uphold the Convention against Torture, we will consider our options in respect of the Optional Protocol.”
Rwanda voluntarily ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, part of the minority of states-parties to have done so. The SPT exists to reinforce national institutions, not replace them.
During its mission to Rwanda, the SPT visited institutions across the country specifically chosen by the committee itself. These included Rilima and Muhanga Prisons; Nyamata, Kimihurura, and Nyamirambo Police Stations; Gikondo Transit Centre; Kami Rwanda Defence Forces 1st Division Headquarters; and Ndera Psychiatric Hospital. The SPT also interviewed a cross-section of people chosen by the committee, including prisoners, detainees, psychiatric patients, soldiers, rehabilitation centre inmates, and staff at all places visited.
The Subcommittee on Prevention against Torture delegation comprised the following members:
1. Mr. Arman DANIELYAN (Armenia; Head of delegation)
2. Ms. Margarete OSTERFELD (Germany)
3. Mr. Kosta MITROVIC (Serbia)
4. Ms. Zdenka PEROVIC (Montenegro)
5. Ms. Aneta STANCHEVSKA (The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
6. Mr. Joao NATAF (Head of Secretariat, OHCHR Geneva)
7. Ms. Mariya STOYANOVA (Associate Human Rights Officer, OHCHR Geneva)
8. Mr. Dmitry CHEREPANOV (Security Officer)
9. Mr. Jean Christophe DESLANDES (Security Officer)