Des Forges was denied entry as an individual–Kalibata

The decision to bar Human Right Watch’s Dr. Alison Des Forges from Rwanda was based on an ‘individual case’ and ‘has nothing to do with human rights’, the country’s top Immigration and Emigration officer said yesterday.
L-R: Anaclet Kalibata, Dr. Alison Des Forges.
L-R: Anaclet Kalibata, Dr. Alison Des Forges.

The decision to bar Human Right Watch’s Dr. Alison Des Forges from Rwanda was based on an ‘individual case’ and ‘has nothing to do with human rights’, the country’s top Immigration and Emigration officer said yesterday.

The chief of the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, Anaclet Kalibata, referred to Des Forges’s case as a ‘personal problem’ and that it is different from making her organisation’s work in Rwanda difficult.

“It is true that we barred her from entering but it is an immigration issue,” Kalibata said in a telephone interview with The New Times.

“It has nothing to do with human rights, it is an individual case.”

Human Rights Watch announced last week that its senior adviser on Africa was denied entry in Rwanda two times this year.

The Rwandan government first refused Des Forges entry to Rwanda at a border crossing with Burundi on September 4, 2008 and she was refused a second time on December 2 when she flew to Rwanda to attend an international conference on legal aid for the poor.

Kalibata pointed out that Human Rights Watch has an office in Kigali that is still operating saying it was evidence Rwanda didn’t have a problem with the organisation’s activities.

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