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Human Rights Watch to Uganda: Request Rwanda to Return Joel Mutabazi :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Human Rights Watch to Uganda: Request Rwanda to Return Joel Mutabazi

Now, Human Rights Watch has urged Uganda to request Rwanda to hand over Mutabazi so that proper procedures are followed to extradite him to Rwanda.
Moses Musonera, one of the Rwanda Asylum seekers hiding in Kampala for fear of forceful extradition to Rwanda

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Human Rights Watch has condemned the extradition of Lt Joel Mutabazi to Rwanda. Mutabazi, a former body guard of President Paul Kagame, was handed over to Rwandan security last week by Joel Aguma, the deputy Director Crime Intelligence under unclear circumstances. Now, Human Rights Watch has urged Uganda to request Rwanda to hand over Mutabazi so that proper procedures are followed to extradite him to Rwanda. Human Rights Watch argues that Mutabazi will not receive a fair trial in Rwanda. 

According to Human Rights Watch, the forceful extradition of Rwandan Asylum seekers back home is an issue of grave concern. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch asks the United Nations Human Rights Commission for Refugees to execute a speedy relocation of Rwandan Asylum seekers whose lives are in danger to a third country. Daniel Bekele, Human Rights Watch Africa Director says Uganda Police Force utterly failed to protect Mutabazi who was clearly at serious risk.

The Ugandan government has admitted that handing over Mutabazi to Rwanda without any court proceedings is contrary to its “established legal procedure” and the “Police Code of Conduct.” Human Rights Watch urges Uganda to put in place effective measures to protect Rwandan refugees and asylum seekers, particularly those whose security is at risk. The rights body also asks Uganda to complete investigations into circumstances leading to Mutabazi’s extradition and publish the findings without any delays.

 

Mutabazi was first arrested in Rwanda in 2010. According to sources interviewed by Human Rights Watch, the government accused him of being close to General Kayumba Nyamwasa, a prominent Rwandan government opponent exiled in South Africa. Mutabazi was detained incommunicado for several months in a military camp in Rwanda where he was allegedly tortured. In 2011 Mutabazi fled Rwanda and sought asylum in Uganda, where he was granted refugee status in October 2011. On July 12, 2012, a man armed with a gun came to his house in Kasangati, a suburb of Kampala, and fired at Mutabazi but missed him.

After this incident, the Ugandan government and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) arranged for Mutabazi to be placed under police protection in a guesthouse in a different area.

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