Amnesty Reports Unlawful Detentions in Rwanda

Posted October 8th, 2012 at 4:45 am (UTC-5)
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Amnesty International says it has documented cases of unlawful detention and allegations of torture by Rwanda's military intelligence department, known as “J2”.

The London-based rights group issued a report Monday with accounts of civilians who said they were detained for between 10 days and nine months without being able to speak to lawyers, doctors or family members.

The report also includes allegations that military members used beatings, electric shocks and sensory deprivation to force confessions.

It says the incidents took place between March 2010 and June of this year and that many of the detainees were later charged with threatening national security.

Rwanda's Ministry of Justice said in a statement it told Amnesty in June that some illegal detentions had taken place, but that those members of the security services have been “dealt with through the courts.”

The ministry also defended its overall handling of torture allegations, saying they are “investigated through established channels and are treated with the utmost seriousness.”

Amnesty says the number of new incidents in Rwanda is declining, but that without prosecuting those responsible it is “likely” the intelligence service will use those practices when responding to real or perceived security threats.

Rwanda says its laws and procedures for dealing with national security threats are in line with those in much of the rest of the world.