Rwanda: Shrouded in secrecy Illegal detention and torture by Rwanda’s military intelligence

Amnesty International began to receive reports of enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment by Rwandan military intelligence in March 2010. This spate of human rights violations happened as military intelligence launched investigations into threats to national security in the run-up to the August 2010 presidential elections. Grenade attacks, rare in recent years, multiplied after February 2010. Some security analysts attributed them to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed opposition group based ineastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Growing tensions within the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) following the departure of the former army chief, General Kayumba Nyamwasa, in February 2010 also allegedly raised the spectre of potential security threats from within the army. As part of the Rwandan authorities’ investigations into security matters, individuals were arrested, often arbitrarily, by the military, sometimes acting in collaboration with the police. Those arrested were almost exclusively men aged between 20 and 45. Most of the cases documented here are of civilians, including demobilized military. Other cases include members of the Rwandan army or individuals suspected by the Rwandan authorities of belonging to the FDLR. After their arrest, the men were detained incommunicado and interrogated by military intelligence.

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