Kigali, RWANDA- The Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling for an independent autopsy of André Kagwa Rwisereka, whose body was found near his home in southern Rwanda July 14th, his head nearly decapitated just weeks before Rwanda’s next presidential election. Rwisereka was vice president of the Democratic Green Party, the main opposition to current Rwandan president Paul Kagame. The police have an unidentified suspect in custody and several different motives have been put forward as an explanation for Rwisereka’s murder. While the police have stated that he may have been the target of a mugging or killed byan individual he was in a financial dispute with, Rwisereka’s colleagues in the Democratic Green Party say he had been receiving death threats since February because of his views opposing the current government.
HRW believes Rwisereka’s murder to be suspicious not only because of the timing of but also beacuse this is the second controversial political figure to be murdered this month. In June, Lt. General Faustin Kyumba Nyamwasa was wounded with a gunshot. Within weeks, Jean-Leonard Rugambage, a journalist investigating the shooting of Nyamwasa was shot dead outside his home in Kigali. Many have claimed all three incidents can be tied to Kagame’s government but the president, who is expected to win in the next election, adamantly denies these allegations, saying, “Nobody has asked the Rwandans … it’s as if they don’t matter in the eyes of the human rights people. It’s our own decisions in the end.”
For more information, please see;
Radio France Interntionale – First Day of Rwanda Political Campaign Opens with Funeral – 22 July 2010
CNN World – Independent Probe of Rwanda Politician’s Death Urged – 21 July 2010
BBC News – Rwanda: Call For Independent Autopsy of Murdered Critic – 21 July 2010
AFP – Independent Probe into Rwanda Murder Demanded – 21 July 2010