Rwanda on schedule to meet UN rights resolutions

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Rwanda’s Justice Minister and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye

 

The Rwandan government has managed to implement at least 55 of the 67 human rights resolutions under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which the country committed to achieving by 2015.

According to Justice Minister and Attorney General, Justice Johnston Busingye, this is not a 100 percent performance but a commendable achievement as Rwanda prepares to present its accomplishments to the UN Human rights council, this June.

Busingye says that the full report on the implementation of the remaining 12 human rights initiatives is not complete but hopefully the line ministries will be able to gather their findings before the June deadline.

“There have been some delays in changing some laws, as a result of procedures; for example on duration of house detention; but this doesn’t mean that this still exists. Look around and you will see that this isn’t there” Busingye said.

Every four years, all the 193 UN member countries gather in Geneva to present their human rights reports, in line with what they had committed to the UN council. The council looks at how each of the countries has performed in areas of freedom of speech/ expression, freedom of assembly, rights of women, children and marginalized persons among others.

Rwanda, being a new non-permanent member state will be on the watch list, as the country has been under international criticism for loopholes in Human rights. This will be Rwanda’s second report to the UN since 2011.

The Human Rights Watch 2015 World Report accuses Rwandan authorities of silencing opposition, trampling on media freedoms and arbitrary arrests, but Rwanda has accused the global rights watchdog of running a consistent campaign against the government through biased negative reports and denying the country the right to rebuttal.

Busingye also noted that in participating in the UN human rights review, Rwanda doesn’t seek to clean its image but it is do so as an obligation to its citizens.

By November, 2015, the UN Human Rights Council is expected to give feedback and advice on the reports of all participating countries in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), for further self-scrutiny.