Keywords: SPT In-Country Visits
Rwanda deposited the instrument of ratification of the OPCAT with the United Nations in New York in June 2015. Consultations are ongoing in the country in view of designating the National Preventive Mechanism.
The latest consultation took place in September 2016 and brought together representatives from the government, State institutions, the judiciary, law enforcement agencies and correctional services, and civil society organisations. It was agreed that the NPM will be a unit within the National Human Rights Commission. This will require revision of the current legal basis of the Commission, reforming its structure, governance, functioning and methods of work.
A roadmap for the NPM designation process was adopted at this meeting, which foresees the adoption of the new law of the Commission by March 2017 and the NPM to be established and operational by July 2017.
The SPT visited Rwanda from 15-21 October 2017. The purpose of the visit was to advise national authorities on the establishment of the NPM and to visit a number of places of deprivation of liberty. The SPT suspended the visit on 20 October 2017. The SPT considered the authorities imposed serious obstructions during the visit, such as restrictions on access to several places of detention and confidentiality during interviews with detainees. The SPT also claimed it had concerns certain interviewees could face reprisals.
The SPT member Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah is the SPT Focal Point for Rwanda.