In a joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council for Rwanda’s third Universal Periodic Review (or UPR), ARTICLE 19 and Access Now expressed concern about limited improvements in the human rights situation in Rwanda.
Despite some positive developments, including the Supreme Court striking down restrictive Penal Code provisions and the ratification of the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection, Rwanda has failed to fully implement the recommendations it accepted during its last UPR review in 2015.
“Internet users, activists and opposition members who use online platforms to oppose government practices are consistently faced with threats, contributing to a hostile online environment and self-censorship in Rwanda. Similarly, journalists continue to report concerning levels of harassment and intimidation, with reports of raids on media houses and the forced relocation of a number of Rwandan investigative journalists documenting corruption issues,” said Mugambi Kiai, Regional Director at ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.
“In the last five years, the government has increasingly limited dissent through the introduction and/or revision of at least three repressive legislative and regulatory frameworks laden with punitive criminal sanctions, heightened its surveillance efforts, and increased the collection of citizens’ personal data, under the guise of mandatory SIM Card registration and digital ID processes,” said Peter Micek, General Counsel at Access Now.
ARTICLE 19 and Access Now call on UN Member States, in reliance on the recommendations provided in our joint submission, to fully engage with the government of Rwanda during the October/November 2020 review.
For more information, please contact:
Mugambi Kiai – Regional Director, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa: [email protected]
Peter Micek – General Counsel, Access Now: [email protected]