RWANDA – Urgent Appeal: Torture and illegal detention of Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim Secretary General

April 2nd, 2013

Mr. Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi interim Secretary General, was arrested by the police in the premises of the Supreme Court at the opening of the appeal hearing of political prisoner Madam Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza on 25 March 2013.

He was severely beaten, and left with a broken tooth, traumatized jaw, bruised head and body and swollen members.

In reality, no known action has been taken against the officers involved in this custodial torture. Another barometer of the rule of law in the country.

On March 25th night, he was admitted to the emergency ward at the Kacyiru National Police Hospital due to bleeding and shortness of breath. He was returned to Kicukiro police station the next morning until his transfer to Kabuga police detention facility on March 28th. The custodial policemen have restricted food supply to both Sylvain Sibomana and another opposition member Dominique Shyirambere arrested in similar conditions.

On April 2nd, the Prosecutor extended his arrest warrant waiting for a bail hearing in the coming days on the following charges: illegal protest, illegal meetings, subversion, attempting to undermine the government, and assault on police officers.

The opposition figure was brutally beaten at the time of the arrest and later endured severe torture while he was in Kicukiro police custody on 25 March 2013. He has not been allowed to be seen by an independent doctor. He needs metal braces to reduce teeth movement and allow chewing food.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please send a letter to President Paul Kagame, to the Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama, to the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga and to Emmanuel Gasana, Inspector general of the Police, expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the allegations of illegal arrest, illegal detention and severe torture of opposition figure Sylvain Sibomana.

Please demand the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the Rwandan criminal law for criminal abuse of power. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of orders. Further, please also request the National public prosecution authority and the Inspectorate General of the Police to have a special investigation into the malpractices of the police officers violating laws proscribing criminal abuse of power.

Sixbert Musangamfura
FDU-Inkingi
External Relations Commissioner.

Urgent Appeal-04-02-13-ENG