Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Rwanda


On 26th January 2002, Mr. Laurien Ntezimana, founder of the Modest and Innocent Association (AMI) and winner of the Pax Christi International peace prize for 1998, was arrested by police in Butare town centre. According to witnesses, no arrest warrant was produced. At first detained at the police brigade premises with one of his companions, Mr. Didas Muremagingo, he was then transferred to Butare prison on 29th January, where he was held without charge until 20th February. He was officially arrested to be questioned about the AMI review Ubuntu (Humanity) and to justify the review's logo, which uses the Rwandan word "ubuynaja", meaning "spiritual renewal", a word also used by the opposition Democratic Party for Renewal (PDR); he was accused of sympathising with the PDR. After his release, he was placed under house arrest on 20th February by decision of the Nyabisindu Court of Appeal. Since then he has had to report weekly to the town authorities.

The Prefect suspended the AMI's activities, in violation of Article 24 of the law on non-profit organisations under which only the Ministry of Justice is empowered to do this. The association's publications, especially Ubuntu, were also banned.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

54. See Urgent Appeal RWA 001/0102/OBS 008.


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