Global Campaign for Rwandans' Human Rights is very concerned about reports from families of detainees in Kigali central prison who confirm that visits to their family members who are imprisoned are being more and more restricted, and for others it has become a traumatic experience.
Visiting members of families of prisoners are currently being told to return home without being given a chance to see their imprisoned relatives. This is happening on regular basis and few lucky ones are given the opportunity to see their related prisoners.
When they are allowed to see them, they are only given, and in most of the time, less than 5 minutes. In some cases visitors are beaten up with sticks by prison guards whenever they insist seeking to see their imprisoned loved ones. Such mistreatment occurs despite the fact that the denial of visits happens on scheduled visiting days.
GCRHR researcher in Kigali received testimony from a woman whose arm had been broken for having insisted to see her imprisoned relative. She said that she was brutalized by a prison guard when she said that it was unfair to be told to go back home twice without seeing her husband.
Global Campaign for Rwandans’ Human Rights requests from the Rwandan ministry of justice the following:
- End violence against visitors of prisoners by prison guards
- Respect own policies of how prisoners are visited by family members or other members of the public;
- Bring about a culture of respect of visitors among prison guards;
- Make sure prison guards are informed and effectively trained in following policies and procedures, and respecting the rights of visitors coming to see their imprisoned relatives on scheduled visiting days;
- Set up a regular review of the policy of visiting prisoners which would also take into account prisoners and their visitors' feedback and considerations.
Global Campaign for Rwandans Human Right