Human rights defender deported from Rwanda
On 28th May, human rights defender Epimack Kwokwo, former executive secretary of the League for the Defense of Human Rights in the Great Lakes Region (LDGL), was summoned to a Rwandan immigration office in Kigali where he was declared persona non grata.
According to Frontline Defenders, he was shown a letter announcing this decision signed by the Director General of Immigration, and driven to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). His passport, which had been held by authorities since October 2015, was returned to him at the border.
On 31st March, the Military High Court of Kanombe sentenced Colonel Tom Byabagamba and retired Brigadier General Frank Rusagara to 21 and 20 year prison terms respectively for inciting insurrection and tarnishing the government image. They were accused of criticising the government, alleging state involvement in the assassination of political opponents and complaining about foreign and economic policy.
On 3rd February, Rwandan police raided the offices of The East African regional newspaper with search warrants for the newspaper’s computers. One journalist was briefly arrested and released several hours later.