This is in reference to the article, “Legal Aid Forum report on detentions inaccurate - govt”, (The New Times, February 18).
I do not understand Government’s refutation that 8,000 suspects are languishing in prisons across the country without trial.
Numbers, especially negative numbers, sound bad and can be manipulated depending on where, when, why and who they target. They can also be alarmist. But is this about numbers or about responsibility and accountability? What if it was 100 or only 10? It is true that under the current politicaal framework, unjustified pretrial detentions cannot be government policy and cannot be supported in any way?
It is alright to hear that there are preventive as well as corrective measures in place to monitor, repress and punish abuse. The Legal Aid Forum circulated its findings for comments weeks before publication.
It would be of interest to know what the comments of the Ministry of Justice (MINIJUST), National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) and Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) were on the numbers.
As for The New Times, the findings are public and numbers are itemised. Isn’t it better journalism to read through the report and put the authors on the spot to explain the numbers?
Finally, by disputing only the numbers, among other issues raised in the findings, are agencies (Minijust, NPPA and RCS) admitting to the rest of the findings?
Hope, Mile 40 Nyamirambo, Kigali
Review the Legal Aid Forum report