(Meanwhile hundreds of Rwandans languish in Ugandan prisons, performing quasi slave labor on spurious charges of “illegal entry” or “having no documents”).
By Jackson Mutabazi
Ugandan authorities on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 at the Cyanika border Post inhumanely dumped another three Rwandan individuals that have been illegally incarcerated in Kiburara Prison of Mbarara, western Uganda, since October 2017.
According to information Virunga Post has reliably obtained, the three Rwandans: Basabose Bernard, 44, Sindikubwabo Jean de Dieu, 33, and Nshimiyimana Donatti – all of Musanze District – were arrested in Kisoro District in Uganda on 8 October, 2017 and were jailed that very day. The deportees said they were charged with “illegal entry”.
This charge in recent days – at a time the Government of Uganda has decided to militarize its borders with Rwanda – has become the most common one used by Uganda border authorities (including military people that are amongst the Ugandan border authorities) to throw Rwandans in jail.
The following day Thursday 21 February 19, Ugandan authorities dumped three more Rwandans at the same border post. They include Ntagisanimana, 21, of Burera District who has been illegally held in Kisoro Police jail for two months, on a (concocted) charge that he had “no documents”. They also include a teenage girl, Uwamahoro Diane, 15, whom they locked up a whole week in the jail of Kisoro. Last is Niyonsaba Dieudonne, 19, too of Burera District who suffered a brutal four-month incarceration in Kiburara Prison on the same baseless charges of “illegal entry”.
Virunga Post – in its continued updates on the injustices meted out on these, and many other Rwandan victims of the militarized Ugandan immigration that works hand in hand with CMI – has gathered testimony of how Rwandan nationals are treated once in Uganda’s horror jails. Victims have told of how sadistic prison guards make them dig for hours in government maize, millet, or cotton plantations and anyone that gets tired gets brutal kicks or merciless beatings with “kibooko” canes and other physical torture.
None of these Rwandans have committed any crime in crossing into Uganda, going by the laws of the EAC Common market which all the five member countries of the bloc ratified and signed a decade ago.
Any national of Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi is protected by the protocols that make up the laws of the Common Market. Any person travelling, or settling in a member state is not to be arrested, imprisoned, or have their freedom infringed upon in any way, as long as they can prove they are a citizen of any of the countries. A national identity card is enough proof of that.
Every Rwandan that Virunga Post interviewed after being dumped by the Ugandan police state has shown their national ID, each and every one of them. But according to most reliable sources, time and again the Ugandan authorities have acted as if they do not know of the laws of the Common Market – repeatedly abducting and jailing innocent Rwandans.
A good number of deported Rwandans whose stories we have been bringing you also assert that even when someone has a travel pass, a “jetton”, a Ugandan security official can easily tear it up, and charge one with illegal entry! “The inhumane and illegal treatment of Rwandan nationals by Kampala, in total contempt of international laws should not be acceptable at all!” said a Rwandan that preferred anonymity.
Far more Rwandans than the public knows are suffering in Ugandan prisons according to updates we are getting from impeccable sources.
It is reported that in Kiburara Prison alone there are about 130 Rwandans unjustly incarcerated and suffering slave labor plus torture. These are in addition to another reported 200