World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Rwanda: Hundreds Illegally Detained in Warehouse

Rwanda: Hundreds Illegally Detained in Former Warehouse

Detention Center in Gikondo Must Be Closed and Children Released

(New York) — Hundreds of persons, many of them children, are being held in deplorable conditions in an unofficial detention center in the Gikondo neighborhood of the Rwandan capital Kigali, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper issued today.

The 13-page paper, “Swept Away: Street Children Illegally Detained in Kigali, Rwanda” documents life at the center based on the testimony of children and young adults formerly detained there.

“Kigali city officials who are running the detention center recognize that it must be closed,” said Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. “From the perspective of the children held there, the sooner, the better.”

Thousands of Rwandan children eke out a bare living on the streets of Kigali and other urban areas, many having no adult care as a consequence of the 1994 genocide, war or the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since 1997 city authorities have regularly rounded up street children as well as beggars, street vendors and sex workers. In 2005 they began detaining many of these people in a former warehouse in Gikondo, a short distance from the luxury hotels frequented by international visitors.

Authorities hold the detainees as “vagrants” under colonial-era regulations but rarely formally charge them, bring them to court, or afford them the due process rights guaranteed under the Rwandan constitution and international conventions by which Rwanda is bound. According to authorities, the site is officially meant to be a “transit center” with persons detained for no more than three days.

In fact, some detainees have spent weeks or months in detention before being released without any judicial procedure. Detainees receive inadequate food, water, and medical care; they sleep on the floor without blankets or mattresses.

“Detaining children just because they are poor, dirty, and have no one to care for them violates their rights,” said Des Forges. “Under international and Rwandan law, the state must protect these children, not just sweep them out of sight.”

“Swept Away: Street Children Illegally Detained in Kigali, Rwanda” is available at:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news