The Commission monitored the respect of human rights in custodial places (Photo: NCHR, 2018)

Reference made to Article 139 of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 2003 revised in 2015 which provides for the establishment of the National Commission of Human Rights, and Article 42 which confers on it the special mission of promoting human rights, during the month of March 2018, the Commission visited the prisons, the police stations custodies, the Transit Centers and the Rehabilitation Centers. It was in the context of monitoring respect for detainees and prisoners' rights.

The purpose of this monitoring was not only to visit the custodial places, but also to investigate the allegations, to inquire about the population of detainees and prisoners, in the context of monitoring the respect of their rights among which right to the welfare, right to justice and to consult their files.

On 5 to 9 March 2018, the Commission examined the allegations of the detainees and prisoners and continued the monitoring in the detention premises in the Districts of the Southern and Western Provinces and those of the District of Musanze, in the Northern Province.

From March 12 to 16, 2018, the Commission continued the examination of the allegations and the monitoring, this time in the Districts of the Eastern Province and those of the Nyamagabe District in the Southern Province.

At the same time, the Commission monitored the detention premises of the Districts of the City of Kigali. The purpose was to assess the overall human rights situation based on the codes of Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Respect for the rights of the vulnerable, especially women, children and the elderly, has also been the subject of this monitoring.

The Commission met with relevant authorities for these different custodial places to discuss together how to address identified cases of violation of the rights of detainees, with the aim of improving compliance with the codes of Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

The Commission noted the reduction of human rights issues in custodial places as compared to the recommendations made during previous visits. These include cases concerning their files, their well-being and other provisions provided for by the regulations of each category of prisoners.

The National Commission for Human Rights has particularly given recommendations to improve the respect of human rights in the Transit and Rehabilitation Centers, so that their management respects their regulations.

The National Commission for Human Rights will continue its monitoring mission in custodial places, but also it will make recommendations of what needs to be corrected where it may be necessary, so that the rights of detainees and prisoners are always respected and protected.