Rights official loses work permit over discrepancies

KIGALI - The Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, yesterday, cancelled the work permit of Carina Tertsakian, the Country Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) over ‘gross anomalies’ in her documents, The New Times has learnt. Tertsakian, a British national is said to have reported into the country on January 25 for her new posting and right away applied for a work permit at the immigration department which she received two days later. 

KIGALI - The Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, yesterday, cancelled the work permit of Carina Tertsakian, the Country Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) over ‘gross anomalies’ in her documents, The New Times has learnt.

Tertsakian, a British national is said to have reported into the country on January 25 for her new posting and right away applied for a work permit at the immigration department which she received two days later.

However, on her return to immigration department to apply for a foreigner’s identity card, which is usually required for all foreigners with a long-stay visa, her file was found to have mismatching signatures, prompting the immigration department to revoke the work permit.

In an interview with The New Times, Innocent Niyonsenga, the Communications Manager at the Immigration Directorate, confirmed the development and said that the case is currently being handled by the Criminal Investigations Department to ascertain whether there are any cases of fraud.

“We found anomalies in her file. There were differences in the signatures of one person in the visa application letter and her employment contract.”

“The signature of the Executive Director, Africa Division found on the visa application form is different from the signature of the same person in her employment contract,” Niyonsenga explained.

He further said that the Human Resource Manager on her employment contract also differed from the signature in the employment contract of the outgoing Country Director, yet the Human Resource Manager has not changed.

It is further said that her employment contract has an anomaly in the date of issue. It indicated that the contract was signed on October 29, 2010, seven months from now. 

According to Niyonsenga, Tertsakian was called to the immigration department and shown the inconsistencies in her file which she acknowledged before her work permit was revoked.

“As procedure requires, we called the applicant to make a few clarifications and she admitted that there were anomalies. This is an administrative measure, we cancelled the work permit effective today (yesterday),” Niyonsenga said.

Tertsakian refused to comment on the issue when The New Times contacted her yesterday evening.

“I am sorry I cannot tell you anything. I am not prepared to talk about this with the media. I have nothing to tell, I don’t think it is an issue to discuss with the media,” she said.

Niyonsenga said that Tertsakian as a British National her visa allows her to stay for 3 months before she is required to leave the country.

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