Monitoring the respect of human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pursuant to Article 139 of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 2003 revised in 2015 that provides the existence of the National Commission for Human Rights and Article 42 entrusting it with  special mission of human rights promotion;

 

Based on the same Constitution’s articles 12;13;14;15;24;29;34;38 and 43 related to human rights and freedoms;

 

Pursuant to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ratified by Rwanda and the Presidential Order N051/01 of 5 September 2008, in its Article 16 related to Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

 

From 13 to 20 May 2020, the National Commission for Human Rights carried out a monitoring on the respect of human rights during the period when special measures have been put in place to mitigate and fight against COVID -19 pandemic. The monitoring took place in Kigali City, Eastern Province (Kirehe and Ngoma), Southern Province (Nyanza and Huye), Northern Province (Musanze) and Western Province (Rubavu) districts.

 

The National Commission for Human Rights monitored:

·         Some of the sites where people from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo are placed in quarantine;

·         Stadiums where persons who violated Government’ measures to mitigate COVID 19 are gathered;

·         Places where different persons including journalists whose rights were claimed to have been violated.  are detained.

 

Besides, the Commission monitored the hearing of some cases conducted during COVID 19 period and discussed with different organs including, Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Rwanda National Police, Public Prosecution Authority, judicial inspection Authority and prison authorities, among others.

 

Furthermore, the Commission monitored how food support distribution to the needy was organized and discussed with some beneficiaries and local authorities.

 

The main objective of this monitoring was to verify the respect of human rights, issue recommendations to relevant authorities and make advocacy to different organs on requiredimprovements for a better promotion of human rights.