KARONGI – A local human rights body, Youth Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development (AJPRODHO-JIJUKIRWA), has urged the Police to closely look at the provisions of the law while addressing cases involving minors.
AJPRODHO made the request during a consultative meeting between various stakeholders in the judicial sector which was aimed at putting up strategies on enhancing quick and effective delivery of justice.
The law specifies that suspects who are below the age of consent (18years) are not supposed to be questioned without the presence of an advocate. Stakeholders noted that this has not been the situation.
According to a report of findings based on interviews made with inmates at different police stations and prisons in the districts of Rutsiro and Karongi, most minors held as suspects claim not to be fairly treated by the police especially during interrogations. This has been attributed to scarcity of child advocates.
The meeting thus called for equal rights given to suspects and prosecutors. Statistics illustrated at the meeting showed that out of every 9 cases that were considered over 7 incidences showed that prosecutors was given more consideration than the suspects.