The Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Sylvie Zainab Kayitesi, was this week elected vice president of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights during the commission’s 50th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia.
The forum held twice a year, was jointly organised by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and attracted hundreds of human rights defenders.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday Deogratias Kayumba, vice chair of NHRC, said that Kayitesi’s post portrays Rwanda as a country where people’s rights are respected.
“This is a credit to our commission in particular and our country in general. We are very excited by her appointment,” he added.
Kayumba stated that the post, which has a two-year tenure, reflects Rwanda’s global recognisation in advocating the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights is charged with ensuring the promotion and protection of Human and Peoples’ Rights throughout the continent.
Opening the forum, Reine Alpini Gansou, Chairperson of the commission, said that the forum has on many occasions played an active advocacy role on human rights violation in Africa.
She mentioned that six months ago, the commission focused on human rights violations in Northern Africa where millions of people bore the pain of injustice.
She also underscored the need to abolish the death penalty.
According to Athanase Rutabingwa, the Chairperson of Kigali Bar Association, Kayitesi’s election shows that Rwanda has done a lot in the area of human rights promotion and protection.
“She is a competent lawyer and on top of that, she is performing well in her field. I am very optimistic that she will play a big part in ensuring that human and people’s rights are protected on the continent,” he said.
Zaina Nyiramatama, the Executive Secretary of Haguruka, a local NGO that advocates for the rights of women and children, said that Kayitesi deserved the post because of her good record in ensuring that human and people’s rights are protected.
“She is also the member of Haguruka and we are very delighted for her new post,” she noted.