Human Rights Watch 2015: Why so much dishonestly Mr.Roth?

Like a bad case of the flu that simply refuses to know when its beat, the unaccountable, untrustworthy and unsavoury organisation that calls itself Human Rights Watch or HRW has, once again, authored its yearly diatribe against the government.

Rwanda: According to the folks at Human Rights Watch

Rwanda: According to the folks at Human Rights Watch

And like its reports of yesteryear, this year’s ‘report’ is full of innuendo, lies and old news. Honestly, the document is so small (if compared to previous ones) that I must ask in all seriousness, is this all they had?

HRW, led by Ken Roth, subdivide the report into eight sections: Political Opposition, Attacks on Opponents Abroad, Civil Society Organisations, Media, Unlawful Detention and Enforced Disappearances, Security-Related Trials, Justice for Genocide and, lastly, Key International Actors.

I want to share with you all some of the things the human rights ‘experts’ deem to be worthy of a factual country report.

On the subject of ‘Political Opposition’, they write, “The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) dominates all aspects of political and public life. Opposition parties cannot operate in a meaningful way”.

Now, I don’t know if the authors of this report are being silly, malicious or just plain stupid! What do they mean about RPF dominating ALL aspects of political and public life? What is ALL aspects of public and political life anyway? Does the RPF hold all government positions? No.

Rwanda: According to the rest of the non-HRW world

Rwanda: According to the rest of the non-Human Rights World world

Our constitution mandates a power-sharing arrangement. So, when the folks in New York write that opposition parties cannot operate in a meaningful way, I guess they didn’t ask Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi of the Social Democratic Party, House Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa from the Liberal Party their opinion on the state of the political opposition.

My guess is that when HRW talks about ‘meaningful’ opposition they aren’t talking about effective governance and people pulling together in the same direction; rather what they call ‘meaningful’ opposition is like what happened in Kinshasa a week or so ago, with people dying and property destroyed because they opposed a proposed law. Well, here in Rwanda, we have chosen to play our cards differently.

It is obvious what kind of opposition HRW wants in Rwanda. It writes about the sentence handed down by the Supreme Court to FDU-Inkingi’s Victoire Ingabire, complaining that the Court had “increased from eight to fifteen years” after found guilty of conspiring “to undermine the government and genocide denial in 2012”.

Why didn’t HRW add that most of the evidence that the used to nail her come from her personal computer in Holland? Or that the Dutch government saw it fit to share the ‘smoking gun’ with the government? Or that there was a paper trail showing that she actually sent money to people who aimed to overthrow the legal government? Perhaps because they didn’t want to muddy the waters and actually call her what she actually was, and is. A dangerous insurgent.

Lets move on to the ‘Attacks on Opponents Abroad’ section. The report states “On January 1, Patrick Karegeya, former head of Rwanda’s external intelligence services and a prominent government opponent exiled in South Africa, was found murdered in a hotel room in Johannesburg. South African authorities launched an investigation, which was ongoing at time of writing”. All which is true in all honesty.

Yes, he was living in South Africa and yes, he was engaged in a deadly struggle with the former government he served. So far so good. Where the report goes from facts to hearsay is when it attempts to link his killing with the Government of Rwanda. Sorry guys, there was no proof then and there has been so proof since then linking the two directly. Same with Mr. Kayumba Nyamwasa.

I will not be so blind as to say that Rwanda doesn’t have certain challenges when it come to human rights. I mean, who has a perfect human rights record anyway? Not the UK. Not the US. Not China. Not France. Not Canada. Not any of the Nordic nations. In not being truthful, HRW is simply being a hindrance to Rwanda’s human rights journey and not a good partner.

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One thought on “Human Rights Watch 2015: Why so much dishonestly Mr.Roth?

  1. Ovi says:

    Please my brother continue to preach the progress and want for advancement that’s part of this generation of Africans…. Let old cynical Europeans who want Africa to continue languishing watch as we go all China on them perhaps better, development is for everyone and nobody will deny Africa what we can turn our potentials into ie socioeconomic and technological development, peace and unity. May their hate and biased criticism be our greatest motivations, we will not wish those with evil thoughts evil, we are better than that rather we will develop right in their face and help them in there’s a need because in the end Africans will progress pass the division ie ‘THE US VS THEM’ mentality into what we all can be as humans. Thank you for your concise analysis. All the best.

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