HRW accuses Rwanda of murdering and kidnapping dissidents abroad

On Tuesday October 10, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the Rwandan authorities of being responsible for the murders, beatings and abductions of dissidents abroad, and called on the international community to combat this “extraterritorial repression”.
Rwanda has been ruled de facto with an iron fist by Paul Kagame since the end of the 1994 genocide. President of this Great Lakes country since 2000, he was returned to power – with over 90% of the vote – in the 2003, 2010 and 2017 elections. At the end of September, he announced his candidacy for a fourth term in 2024.
The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), Mr. Kagame’s party, has “responded forcefully and often violently to criticism, deploying a series of measures to combat real or suspected opponents”, says HRW, which has “documented more than a dozen cases of murder, abduction and attempted abduction, enforced disappearance and physical attacks targeting Rwandans living abroad”.
Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo denied the accusations, claiming that HRW “continues to present a distorted image of Rwanda that exists only in their imagination”, and instead spoke of “promoting the rights, well-being and dignity of Rwandans over the past 29 years”.
HRW, which has focused on documented abuses since 2017, has interviewed over 150 people in France, South Africa and the United States.
Since May 2021, says HRW, “at least three Rwandans have been killed or disappeared in suspicious circumstances, while two others have survived kidnapping attempts” in Mozambique, including Seleman Masiya, described by a friend as highly critical of the Rwandan government. This businessman and footballer, who had asylum seeker status in Mozambique, was killed at his home in the north of the country in July 2022.
Seleman Masiya, who was stabbed several times in the face and neck, had been “pressured to work for the Rwandan government”, according to HRW.

About Geraldine Boechat 2764 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia