Human Rights and Democracy 2014-15

Country Case Study: Rwanda – Freedom of Association and Expression

Comments on this section of the 2014 Human Rights Report can be made below. They will be monitored and moderated by staff at the Human Rights and Democracy Department at the FCO who will also try and answer as many questions as possible.

Read this section of the report on GOV.UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 comments on “Country Case Study: Rwanda – Freedom of Association and Expression

  1. Xavier URAYENEZA says:

    As Rwandan, this is good that you have searched and published these human rights abuses. But, If what you are able to do is to search and only publish, for years after years, do you think that will help any citizen or prevent human abuser to continue?

    Either (first probable reality) you are not powerful (then ask for other to help through advocacy) or you are not willing to help (second probable reality)! The last, if true, it is shameful and absurd!

    The reality (as I have observed..then reassure me through actions if not) it is the second reality..because in your country (UK) this can not happen without resulting in a concrete and actions or reactions. While in Rwanda, for you what to do is just to write down reports.

    BBC will resume and broadcast…because it is yours (of course we are lucky to have it from you) but will other rights restored or respected? Will you bring about solutions?

    I wish if I had money, power and protection (or immunity) like you! Why not help us, we, Rwandans to form, our human right group?
    Can you sponsor us to undertake actions!!

    Please answer.

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      Thank you for your comment. The UK government has aimed to work with the Rwandan government to support Rwanda’s development into a democratic, prosperous country, with good governance and respect for human rights. As highlighted in the case study, we have continued to urge the Rwandan government to address human rights concerns around freedom of expression and political space.

      The UK government has announced plans to spend approximately £57m in development support this financial year. Part of our development support is dedicated to strengthening domestic accountability and transparency. If you would like to know more about what our Department for International Development does in Rwanda, then I suggest you visit http://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/countries/RW/projects/ .

      Our High Commissioner has held regular meetings with the political opposition and representatives of civil society, and the High Commission has hosted a monthly working group of human rights defenders. The High Commission has announced it plans to give grants of £54,000 this year to support projects by local civil society organisations. Among others we have supported is a local human rights organisation’s work on a report to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process and training to professionalise and protect human rights defenders.

  2. We do welcome the the way the report recognises the key human rights abuses and the fact that there key factors necessary for a vibrant and prosperous society. This report and many more before have continued to let us believe that the issues of concern are raised with the government of Rwanda at the highest level of government. However, as more and more abuses continue and there being being clear signs, through statements by powerful officials within the government of Rwanda, that Rwanda is on the verge of graduating into an ‘absolute dictatorship’ with the impending amendment of the current constitution, nothing seems to change in the approach of the UK government.

    This leaves us to wonder whether the relationship that exists between UK government and the current Rwandan government is based on the much cherished values of democracy and the fundamental human rights for all. Can someone in the FCO please justify the continued unconditional support or friendly relationship that continue to be demonstrated by the UK government to this deceitful and dictatorial regime. What lessons are giving to the many Rwandan’s who had much hope in the their future governance when they joined the commonwealth, where democratic and human rights values had been believed to be the MUST yardstick?

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      The UK government’s approach to Rwanda is one of engagement. We acknowledge Rwanda’s impressive progress in terms of economic and social development but still have concerns about civil and political rights. We urge the Rwandan government to address human rights concerns around freedom of expression and political space. We continue to believe that working with the Rwandan government is the best way to encourage it to adhere to international norms and to ensure that Rwanda’s long-term stability is secured.