Authoritarian drifts in Rwanda: Arbitrary dissolution of the Ligue Rwandaise pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l'Homme (LIPRODHOR), member organisation of the FIDH
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||15 July 2004|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Authoritarian drifts in Rwanda: Arbitrary dissolution of the Ligue Rwandaise pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l'Homme (LIPRODHOR), member organisation of the FIDH, 15 July 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/482c5bd7c.html [accessed 21 September 2014]|
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) condemns vigorously the dissolution of the Ligue Rwandaise pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l'Homme (LIPRODHOR – Rwandan League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights), one of its member organisations in Rwanda, by the Rwandan Parliament on June 30th, 2004. Sidiki Kaba, president of the FIDH declared that with the arbitrary dissolution of the LIPRODHOR, the conditions for a democratic debate in Rwanda disappeared".
This decision follows the report and recommendations of the parliamentary committee in charge of investigations on the possible propagation of the genocidal ideology in the country, which is forbidden by the Rwandan law. This committee gave its conclusions to the Parliament which remains the registration chamber of the decisions of the authorities, and notably accused the LIPRODHOR of spreading "genocidal ideas", and recommended its dissolution as well as the arrest of its leaders.
Following the adoption of the recommendations by the Parliament, Rwandan MPs also asked to the police forces and the domestic judiciary to sue and severely punish the leaders, executives and members of the LIPRODHOR, to the point to distribute a list of 13 persons whose security is thereby particularly threatened. Considering the seriousness of this measure and the threats on the security and integrity of the LIPRODHOR members, some of them were forced to go into exile.
The FIDH considers that those acts are part of a strategy of the authorities aiming at silencing any opposition in Rwanda. The charge of "ethnic divisionism" brought by Rwandan authorities against the LIPRODHOR had already been used as the reason to dissolve the Mouvement Démocratique Républiqain (MDR – Democratic Republican Movement) last year. The FIDH is deeply worried by the use of the law against the genocidal ideology for arbitrary repression against any form of criticism towards the government.
Considering this arbitrary decision, the FIDH calls upon its member organisations to join to express their solidarity to the LIPRODHOR, an independent organisation recognized for its work for many years.
Moreover, the FIDH calls upon the Rwandan authorities to:
- Guarantee in any circumstances the physical and mental integrity of the LIPRODHOR members and put an end to any kind of harassment and intimidation against them;
- Cancel the dissolution of the civil society organisations, particularly the one of LIPRODHOR;
- Comply with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which binds Rwanda since 1975, particularly articles 5 and 19, and of the 1998 UN Declaration on Human rights defenders, which guarantee freedoms of association and expression.