2010 Human Rights Report

from US Department of State
Published on 19 Aug 2011 View Original

Rwanda, with a population of 11 million, is a constitutional republic dominated by a strong presidency. In August voters elected President Paul Kagame to a second seven-year term with 93.1 percent of the vote. International observers noted election day was peaceful with minor irregularities, but they registered concerns about the political and security environment in the run-up to the elections, including a series of grenade attacks in the capital, a lack of critical opposition voices in the preelection period, the continued inability of opposition political parties to register, and the arrests of two opposition party leaders. Two unregistered political parties were unable to field presidential candidates due to legal or administrative issues, and there were two high-profile killings--the vice president of an unregistered opposition party and an independent journalist--that have not been fully resolved. The media also faced heightened restrictions in the months preceding the election. The ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) controlled the government and legislature. The RPF candidate dominated the election. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.

There were reports of abuse of suspects by security forces and local defense members, and prison and detention center conditions remained generally harsh. Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained persons. Prolonged pretrial detention was a problem. There were restraints on judicial independence and limits on freedoms of speech, press, association, and religion, particularly in the preelection period. The government forcibly returned refugees. Official corruption and restrictions on civil society remained problems. Societal violence and discrimination against women, trafficking in persons, and discrimination against the Twa and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community occurred. There were restrictions on labor rights, and child labor occurred.