Tens of thousands of people accused of having participated in genocide and other crimes against humanity in 1994 were detained without charge or trial, bringing the total detained since July 1994 to over 62,000 people. Only seven were brought to court but their trial was adjourned. Many were detained in appalling conditions; over 2,300 died in detention between July 1994 and the end of 1995. Torture was common in unofficial detention centres. There were frequent reports of "disappearances". The army extrajudicially executed hundreds of civilians. Three soldiers were sentenced to death but no executions were reported. Armed opposition groups committed grave human rights abuses. Growing divisions over human rights issues emerged within the government of President Pasteur Bizimungu. Officials who criticized the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA) were increasingly deprived of influence. In March the chief prosecutor for Kigali fled to Belgium; he had been repeatedly threatened after denouncing human rights violations by the army. Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu and four ministers, including the Ministers of the Interior and of Justice, were forced out of the government in August. The judicial system remained paralysed following the 1994 massacres (see Amnesty International Report 1995). In July the Transitional National Assembly rejected the draft legislation which would have allowed foreign judicial experts to work in Rwanda. In October, six judges were appointed to the Supreme Court, removing one major obstacle to the operation of the judicial system. There was increased tension in western Rwanda, near the border with Zaire, as the RPA reinforced its presence in response to increased armed attacks by exiled forces of the former Rwandese government army and the interahamwe militia. The UN Human Rights Field Operation for Rwanda reached its full strength of 150 human rights monitors in February, but did not make public either the results of its investigation into the 1994 genocide or reports on current human rights abuses. The UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) had its mandate, which included training a new police force, extended. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on Rwanda and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions visited Rwanda. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established by the UN in 1994, made slow progress as a result of limited funding and the failure of states to enact legislation permitting cooperation with the tribunal. Investigations to establish criminal responsibility for the 1994 massacres were initiated and six judges were elected in May. The first indictments against eight people were issued in December. In August the UN Security Council lifted the arms embargo on the Government of Rwanda until 1 September 1996. In October the UN established an international commission of inquiry to investigate reports of military training and arms transfers to former Rwandese government forces, based mainly in Zaire. Nearly two million, mostly Hutu, refugees remained in exile in Tanzania, Zaire and Burundi. Members of the former Rwandese government army and the interahamwe militia responsible for mass killings in 1994 were reportedly rearming and retraining in exile. They launched numerous cross-border raids from Zaire and Tanzania (see below). They also used violence and threats to prevent refugees from returning to Rwanda. Few refugees returned during the year, and the governments of Zaire and Tanzania expressed increasing frustration at the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees. In late August Zairian officials forcibly returned around 13,000 Rwandese refugees. After negotiations with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Zairian Government agreed to suspend the forcible repatriations (see Zaire entry). Tens of thousands of people, mostly Hutu, were arrested and accused of involvement in genocide. Many were arbitrarily detained on the basis of little or no evidence, or following unsubstantiated allegations. By November the total number detained since July 1994 and held without charge or trial had reached more than 62,000. Committees set up to recommend the release of those against whom there was insufficient evidence failed to release more than around 100 prisoners, some of whom were rearrested. Among those detained was 12-year-old Augustin Minani, who was apparently arrested because soldiers believed his brother had participated in massacres. He was arrested with five other boys in September 1994 and badly beaten. Two nuns, Bernadette Mukarusine and Marie Mukanyangezi, were apparently falsely accused by a family that had recently returned to Rwanda and occupied their convent. They were still held in Kigali prison at the end of the year. Only one trial in connection with the 1994 massacres started during the year. Seven defendants, including a teenage boy, appeared before the High Court in April, but the trial was adjourned the same day after prosecution documents were found to be incomplete. Six of the seven defendants reportedly had no legal counsel. Conditions in prisons and detention centres were extremely overcrowded and insanitary. In the first few months of the year, seven prisoners were reportedly dying every day in Kigali Prison. In March, 22 people died from suffocation after more than 70 detainees were crowded into a single cell designed for 10 at the Muhima Gendarmerie building in Kigali. Gitarama Prison, which was built for 600 inmates, held 6,847 when Amnesty International delegates visited it in June. Among the inmates were over 100 children and 20 babies with their mothers. There were no sanitary facilities and cells were so overcrowded that prisoners could not lie down. An extension to Gitarama Prison finally opened in November. In June, the government identified several new prison buildings to relieve overcrowding but only three had been opened by the end of the year, with international assistance. By November around 4,500 prisoners had been transferred to a new prison site at Nsinda, in the southeast. Many detainees were tortured after being arrested, usually before being moved to official prisons. The commonest methods were beatings and kandoya (three-piece tying), where the victim's arms are tied behind the back above the elbows. In May a 17-year-old boy known as Bendera was tortured by soldiers several times a day in a military detention centre in Gisenyi, where he was held for two weeks before being transferred to another detention centre and finally to Gisenyi Central Prison. There were frequent reports of "disappearances". Efforts to trace the "disappeared" were hampered by the lack of official or complete registers of detainees. Among those whose fate and whereabouts remained unknown was Manassé Mugabo, a journalist at Radio UNAMIR, who "disappeared" in August and was feared dead. It was thought that he may have been targeted because of his work as a journalist broadcasting news about the situation in Rwanda. The army extrajudicially executed hundreds of unarmed civilians. The worst single incident was at Kibeho camp for the internally displaced where on 22 April soldiers opened fire on a crowd which was refusing to move from the camp. Several thousand women, men and children were shot, bayoneted or trampled to death in the ensuing stampede. The number of victims was disputed; the government put the figure at 360, while independent estimates ranged from 2,000 to 8,000. An international commission of inquiry into the incident published a report in May. The commission, which did not comply with international standards for such investigations, failed to determine the number of fatalities and concluded that both soldiers and armed extremists within the camp had been responsible for the killings. By the end of the year the government had still not announced the findings of its own inquiry. Troops killed at least 110 people when they opened fire on villagers in Kanama, in the northwest near the border with Zaire, on 12 September. The majority of the victims were women and children. The killings were apparently in reprisal for the alleged killing of an RPA lieutenant by an armed group. Several people were reportedly arrested in connection with the killings but the government had not published the results of its inquiry by the end of the year. Several local government officials and other public figures who spoke out against human rights abuses were killed. Official involvement was not always clear but a pattern of killings committed by, or with the complicity of, members of the army emerged. Pierre-Claver Rwangabo, the regional administrator of Butare prefecture, was killed in March, after protesting publicly against mass arrests by soldiers. No official inquiry was known to have taken place. Judge Bernard Nikuze, acting President of the High Court in Butare, was killed in August; the motives for his assassination were unclear but he was known to have spoken out against human rights violations. At least two soldiers were arrested in connection with his death. Prisoners released from detention on grounds of insufficient evidence were also targeted. In July Placide Koloni, a sub-regional administrator in Gitarama prefecture, was killed in his home together with his wife, two daughters and a family servant. Soldiers were reportedly seen near his house at the time of the murders. Placide Koloni had been dismissed from his post by the previous government, apparently because he had tried to protect people during massacres, then reinstated by the new government. He was arrested in February and accused of participating in the 1994 killings, but released on the recommendation of a screening committee. He was killed three days later. Two RPA soldiers were sentenced to death by court-martial in May after an unfair trial for alleged involvement in an attack on the Tanzanian Embassy in 1994. These were the first death sentences passed by a new military tribunal since the government came to power. A third soldier, a sergeant, was sentenced to death for murder in December. The sentences had not been carried out by the end of the year. Armed opposition groups, made up of members of the former Rwandese government army and interahamwe militia, continued to commit grave human rights abuses, including deliberate and arbitrary killings. These abuses were committed both in refugee camps in Tanzania and Zaire and during frequent armed incursions into Rwanda. For example, Dr Anatole Bucyendore, a regional medical officer and head of the AIDS prevention program in Rwanda, was shot dead and his two-year-old child stabbed to death in Gisenyi in February. While in a refugee camp in Goma, Zaire, Dr Anatole Bucyendore had been warned that he would be killed by the interahamwe if he returned to Rwanda. In September armed groups operating from camps in Tanzania killed a number of civilians in Kibungo in southeastern Rwanda. The victims included young children such as Makobwa, a six-year-old girl, who was hacked to death with a machete. Amnesty International repeatedly appealed to the government to bring an end to mass arbitrary arrests, detention without charge or trial, torture, "disappearances" and extrajudicial executions. The organization also condemned human rights abuses by armed opposition groups. An Amnesty International research team was based in Rwanda from January to July to investigate past and recent human rights abuses in Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Zaire. Amnesty International visited the region again in September to investigate human rights issues facing refugees. In an oral statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights in February, Amnesty International included reference to its concerns in Rwanda. In April, a year after the start of the mass killings in 1994, Amnesty International published a report, Rwanda: Crying out for justice, which highlighted the failure of the Rwandese authorities and the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the genocide and other human rights violations. Amnesty International expressed disappointment in May at the report of the international commission of inquiry into the massacre at Kibeho. In June Amnesty International published a report, Rwanda: Arming the perpetrators of the genocide, expressing concern about large supplies of weapons reaching armed opposition groups in eastern Zaire, who were committing further human rights abuses, and calling on governments to prevent the supply of arms to the former Rwandese government armed forces and militia who, as in 1994, were likely to use the weapons to commit further human rights abuses. Amnesty International called on foreign governments to provide more support for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and to assist in the reconstruction of Rwanda's judicial system. In June the organization publicly appealed to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to call on its Member States to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Amnesty International condemned the forcible repatriation of Rwandese refugees from Zaire in August and called on the international community to help end the humanitarian and human rights crisis in the area. In September Amnesty International published a report, Rwanda and Burundi: A call for action by the international community, which examined the role of the UN and OAU in helping to restore respect for human rights, and addressed recommendations for action to the UN, OAU and governments around the world.

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