Police use of excessive, deadly force not permitted-Justice Minister

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 7 September 2020 at 04:30

Johnston Busingye, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General spoken on recent concerns of use of excessive force in law enforcement, pointing out that the Government of Rwanda will work to address the challenge through policy and operational measures.

Busingye made the commitment following social media complaints against use of excessive force by the police on social media over the last two weeks, following the shooting of two suspects, the most recent being on Friday, in Kimisagara, Nyarugenge district.

Police shot and killed a one Boy Munyaneza, a suspect who was detained at Kimisagara Police Station who allegedly attempted to escape from custody through Mpazi Ravine, prompting officers on duty to fire bullets at him.

The incident followed another one on Sunday, August 30th, in Zaza Sector, Ngoma district, in Eastern Province, in which a police officer shot and killed Evariste Nsengiyumva, who allegedly tried to fight police officers who were enforcing measures against the New Coronavirus.

Police got a tip off that Nsengiyumva and others were in a certain house, whose owner had turned into a bar, drinking past 7 pm.

When cops raided the house, it is alleged that while others fled or were arrested in the act, Nsengiyumva attempted to fight and disarm a police officer who reacted by firing. The incident enraged many who took to social media.

While addressing concerns of members of the public over recent cases in which unarmed misbehaving suspects are shot by police while attempting to apprehend them, Busingye said fatally shooting suspects is not lawful.

“The use of excessive or deadly force against unarmed detainees/suspects is illegal and inappropriate. We are working with @Rwandapolice and concerned institutions to reign it in through policy and operational measures, intensified accountability, training and effective oversight,” Busingye said.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) said it had arrested the officer involved while investigations into the incident were being conducted.

“Police has arrested the officer involved in the shooting of Nsengiyumva Evariste, a resident of Zaza sector, Ngoma district.”

“Investigations are underway to establish the circumstances of the shooting,” said the Police.