KARONGI – Students from various American colleges and universities are in the country to spearhead a campaign to human rights specifically targeting prisoners.
The students who are on a 10-day study tour are closely working with local human rights groups to visit police stations and other detention centres to better understand the major challenges inmates face.
Local human rights bodies like Youth Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development (AJPRODHO-JIJUKIRWA) and Forum of Activists against torture (FACT- Rwanda) have partnered with the students to undertake the exercise in Karongi district.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after visiting Bwishyura Police station in Karongi district, the students expressed optimism.
“In comparison to our home environment, security organs in this country are much more open. They can easily let us talk to inmates. It would be a very lengthy process back home,” Tyler Branscome, a student from Wellesley College said.
It was observed that inmates do not receive harsh treatment or torture from security personnel but some of the students could not hide their frustration at not being able to meet women inmates.
As part of the exercise the students have been allowed by authorities to cover part of the hospital bills of one of the inmates suffering from bronchitis and ensure delivery of Anti Retro Viral drugs for those living with HIV/Aids.