International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Amnesty accuses Rwanda of torture

Almost eight years after the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for violations of international law, Amnesty International is accusing Rwandan military intelligence of detaining civilians and using extreme interrogation techniques after a series of violent attacks before the presidential election of 2010 . Amnesty International “says researches in Rwanda documented 45 cases of unlawful detention and 18 allegations of torture at Rwanda military prisons between March 2010 and June of this year”.  In order to move forward with this case, Amnesty International is having trouble finding Rwandan citizens to file a case for these human rights violations. There is also the ethical question of how much Amnesty International should probe the case because of the trauma that the violations have caused the Rwandan people. However, failing to take these human rights violations to court has the consequence of allowing a government to “get away with” several crimes and invoking a desire for revenge among citizens.

On a larger scope, I find this case especially interesting because it highlights how difficult it is to prove that military intelligence has indeed unlawfully detained and tortured civilians.  Even with appropriate evidence, it is extremely difficult to carry out a successful trial that will result in justice and reparations for the people; as we saw the United States simply excuse the United Nations’ concerns of its military intelligence using “advanced interrogation techniques” on Iraqi civilians. Without any action against these Rwandan human rights violations, the cycle of politically tied vengeful violence will continue.


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