KIGALI - Shortly after the Government described the latest report by Amnesty International as “very sensational and dishonest,” more officials have come out to denounce the human rights group, calling it arrogant.
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, yesterday, said that the 116-page report released by the UK-based watchdog is flawed and lacks credibility, accusing the group of undermining the sovereignty of the country.
“The report is arrogantly on the offensive against the competence and integrity of institutions of our country. It is indifferent to facts, context and background specific to our country,”
“It is full of sensational content attributed to undisclosed sources. Our system of justice and others we have been painstakingly building should not be put to ridicule by people who are suggesting we should sweep matters that to us are of paramount importance under the carpet,” Ngoga said.
He added that despite the criticism, Amnesty International could not provide any possible advice with regard to reviewing the two laws that punish Genocide crimes and its ideology, and instead went on to paint a grim image of the country.
“More disturbing are allegations of bad faith regarding our legislative process. That is very different from a genuine proposal to improve on the quality of the laws, which is a continuous process in every country. I cannot see any such proposal in this report,” Ngoga added.
On Tuesday, the Government Spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo accused the human rights watchdog of breaching the goodwill offered by the Government of Rwanda, to provide views on the possible review of the two Genocide laws, and instead chose to rush and publish the report, as if they had made a new discovery.
She said that the government had granted Amnesty a chance to be part of the team that is reviewing the two laws after it requested to do so through the Ministry of Justice, but before the request could fall through?, the group rushed to publish the sensational report.
According to Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), the group rushed to claim credit that did not belong to them; claiming to have discovered anomalies in the law, prompting the government to review it.
“They lied to the whole world. The government had already started the process to review these laws and like CNLG, Amnesty International was supposed to be part of the process to review this law,”
‘They were given a green light to come and be part of this process, but it’s unfortunate that they rushed to publish the report, wanting to take credit that did not belong to them,” Mucyo said.
In an interview with The New Times, the president of Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of genocide survivors’ associations, Theodore Simburudari, said that he was not surprised and that the intention of Amnesty International and other human right groups is not to have these laws reviewed as they claim, but have them repealed.
“We know their plans. All these groups; Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or Reporters without Borders, their intention is to have these laws repealed in their quest to have the history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tusti re-written,”
“It’s a long-term plan, they want to falsify, and deny that the Genocide took place in Rwanda. They do so with the help of the Ingabire’s, FDLR and many other genocidal groups; and now the newly-leaked UN report. The intention is to deny or negate the genocide of the Tutsi and instead say Hutus were the ones who were killed. We saw this coming,” Simburudari said.
The hard-talking official, whose group Ibuka is part of the team reviewing the two laws, said that even when the laws are reviewed, the groups will continue to lobby against them because their intention is to have them repealed.
On Tuesday, the London-based human rights group released a 116-page report alleging that the country’s laws on Genocide ideology were being used to suppress political dissent and freedom of speech.