Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged Rwanda of employing coercive techniques in order to target its opponents overseas, particularly those seeking international protection.
The report by the HRW which has been published is coming at a time when the UK’s Supreme Court hears the British government’s appeal against a ruling blocking its plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
The rights body called on the UK government not to consider Rwanda as a safe country to send asylum seekers to.
According to the HRW report, it interviewed around 150 people throughout the world since President Paul Kagame came to office in 2017.
The report highlighted evidence of abuse against Rwandans in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as their relatives in Rwanda.
“The combination of physical violence, including killings and enforced disappearances, surveillance, misuse of law enforcement – both domestic and international – abuses against relatives in Rwanda… constitute clear efforts to isolate potential critics,” the report says.
“[The] findings highlight that Rwanda is not a country the UK should rely upon to uphold international standards or the rule of law when it comes to asylum seekers,” said Yasmine Ahmed, the HRW’s UK director.
Meanwhile, Rwanda has rejected the charges, accusing HRW of “distorting reality” and “advancing a politicised agenda,” according to government spokesman Yolande Makolo.