Search

 

Cablegate: Embassy Action On Extrajudicial Killings; Gor

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #0523/01 1501410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301410Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4239
INFO RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0070
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0879
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1612
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0219
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0878
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0240

UNCLAS KIGALI 000523

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM RW
SUBJECT: EMBASSY ACTION ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS; GOR
RESPONSE

REF: KIGALI 454

1. (SBU) Ambassador on May 17 presented the Rwandan National
Police Commissioner with a list of ten police shootings of
"escaping" prisoners (garnered from local human rights group
LIPROHDOR -- see reftel), asking for an explanation of the
shootings. A majority of the cases involved the arrest of
suspects accused of attacks on genocide survivors, witnesses,
or gacaca judges. In the meeting the Commissioner, while
admitting that such cases "reflect badly on us," stated that
such suspects were "extremely dangerous" and ready at any
moment to attack the police and either gain their freedom or
injure or kill police officers. Officers often lacked proper
restraint devices when dealing with such prisoners, he added.
The Ambassador replied that the issue was proper control of
crime suspects by the police -- did the RNP have proper
procedures in place in handling suspects in custody, and did
the RNP investigate its own personnel when such incidents
occurred.

2. (SBU) The Commissioner replied in writing on May 23 with
a detailed recitation of the events surrounding nine of the
ten cases (the tenth case discussed in the report treated an
earlier police shooting last November, rather than a February
one in the same town in eastern Rwanda). The Commissioner
confirmed the fatal shootings by the police in these
incidents, each involving one to three suspects already in
police custody who allegedly attempted to escape and were
shot dead while doing so. In the Commissioner's reply, he
noted that "all of the policemen involved" were "summoned for
questioning," and that "investigations are underway to assess
officers' responsibility under the law." He noted that
Rwandan detention facilities were antiquated and inadequate.
He stated that police officers lacked extensive training in
the use of firearms, and that such a training program had
begun. He said that efforts were underway to equip each
police station with "enough hand cuffs" to properly secure
suspects. His report finished with the observation that the
suspects were "of extreme criminal character," and were
"ready to die for their genocide ideology." The senior
police officer who personally delivered the report to the
Ambassador admitted that police officers appeared to have
"exceeded their authority" in the shootings, and said the RNP
leadership recognized the need for more training to prevent
excessive use of force by the police.

3. (SBU) Ambassador in subsequent separate discussions on
unrelated topics with National Security Advisor Emmanuel
Ndahiro and Presidential Advisor Richard Sezibera, brought up
the police shootings, and discussed them in detail. Each
reacted somberly, expressing surprise, concern, and a
willingness to ask questions about the incidents within the
Rwandan government.

4. (SBU) On May 27, the LDGL (Great Lakes Human Rights
League), a prominent local human rights organization,
presented a roundtable discussion, open to the public, on
criminality in Rwanda, with presentations by the Minister of
Internal Affairs, Ibuka (the principal survivors
organization), a police representative of the Criminal
Investigations Division, and LIPRODHOR. LIPRODHOR in its
remarks raised generally the topic of police shootings (after
the Minister had departed). Many members of the audience
questioned the police representative on these reports of
police shootings, which had begun to appear in the local
Kinyarwanda press. The police representative asked the
public to communicate directly with the RNP on these cases.
(Note: LIPRODHOR told us May 14 told us several human rights
organizations had planned to present its concerns to the GOR
in the near future -- this meeting appears to have been that
effort).

5. (SBU) Comment. However dangerous and diehard a genocide
suspect may be, or how committed he may be to evading the
police after attacking or killing a survivor, the fact
remains that each of these individuals was already in police
custody when the shooting occurred. In four of the ten
cases, the alleged crimes of the suspects in custody did not
involve genocide cases, but rather rape or murder -- except
for one man accused of stealing electrical cable, a crime of
particular frequency of late. Not all, then, were ready to
die for "genocide ideology." As noted in reftel, many of
these cases occurred in April, a particularly tense time,
when the 1994 genocide is remembered, and emotions run high.

6. (SBU) Comment continued. That so many police officers
felt compelled to use deadly force while taking prisoners to
the toilet, or while interrogating them, or while
transferring them to another cell, is difficult to credit.
No government official admits to a conscious policy of
shooting hardened criminals, but they do allude to the
prisoners' viciousness with some regularity. There is no
doubt the police need more training to improve the management
of suspects in detention. The police is force is undersized
and underfunded. The fact that the police responded promptly
and comprehensively to the Embassy's approach is encouraging,
and underlines RPN recognition of the need for enhanced
professionalism and accountability. Post awaits the results
of the continuing investigations by the police of their
officers, and will continue to raise the matter with GOR
officials. End comment.

ARIETTI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: