The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye has said that Rwanda cannot be threatened by the biased reports authored under the auspices of civil society organizations operating in secrecy.
Minister Busingye made the remarks yesterday as he launched three-day training of staff from civil society organizations and other stakeholders that advocate for the respect of human rights.
At the end of last year , Rwanda released a report indicating that it executed at 100% 64 of 67 resolutions related to respecting human rights recommended in 2011 by Universal Periodic Review (UPR) while 3 remaining others were under the process of being implemented.
Minister Busingye explained that after this report, one civil society complained to have been abused over conceiving ideas related to the respect of human rights for the opposition in Rwanda.
He refuted such claims saying that the government of Rwanda cannot oppress individuals from an opposing organization for the government has no fear for organizations operating secretly.
“I don’t think that one civil society organization operating in secrecy can surprise us. It can’t even release a report because it works alone,” he said.
Busingye urged participants from civil society organizations to work in unison for better results.
“We believe that we can provide unbiased reports on time through respecting one another. This can be attained through fair and transparent cooperation. I promise that the government of Rwanda will do all that is required so we can all provide good reports. We should bear in mind that we all work for interests of Rwandans,” he said.
Consider Rwanda’s history
The minister requested civil society not to disregard Rwanda’s history while making reports.
“We ought not to disregard our history when we discuss on freedom of expression, human rights issues among others. We should note that there are marks left by history. We have to look for benefits we can pull from whatever we do,” he said.
Andrew Kananga, the Executive Director of Legal Aid Forum said that history of Rwanda and citizens’ livelihoods should not be ignored but noted that the civil society can’t disregard reports balancing both sides of good and bad deeds.
“We all know that human rights were not respected in Rwanda for long which led to genocide. Everyone knows the role of media in spreading hatred. Today, the country has earned progress in human rights issues but we still have more to achieve,” he said.