The Human Rights Watch doesn’t seem to learn from it mistakes, especially when it comes to its agenda driven reports on Rwanda. For decades, the organization has produced negative report after negative report, all based on hearsay and rumours designed to tarnish the image of Rwanda and its leadership.
In their recent report, they have continued to peddle the allegations of ‘disappearance’ of people which they attribute to the Government of Rwanda. If HRW was an organization driven by objective reporting on human rights issues, they would learn from their past careless mistakes, where they reported that people had ‘disappeared’ only for the said victims to surface and dispute the reports. Some who HRW reported to be dead would show up alive and kicking, putting HRW’s research and intentions in serious doubt.
For instance, in their recent report they mention without bothering to verify that Constantin Tuyishimire as among those who disappeared, with insinuations that the Government of Rwanda is responsible for his disappearance. But in November a photo of him bearing injuries were posted online, by someone who said they injuries were inflicted by Burundi’s civilian militia known as Imbonerakure.
There has been a trend of this kind of deliberately fraudulent reporting that dent any semblance of credibility by the HRW. In October 2017 right after the presidential elections, HRW published a story concerning Rwandans who supposedly had been executed by the government. The organisation didn’t bother crosschecking its claims. An investigation by Rwanda’s National Human Rights Commission confirmed that in fact the people in the HRW report were alive and kicking.
On 31 August 2016, it was reported on social media that John Ndabarasa, a journalist with SANA Radio had “disappeared,” the insinuation being that he had been killed by security organs.
However, in March 2018, the same supposedly ‘assassinated’ Ndabarasa surfaced and said he had been in Uganda all along.
Two top commanders of the RNC, Captain Charles Sibo and Major Habib Muthadiru were reported ‘missing’ more than three years ago and the HRW and similar organisations pointed fingers at the Rwanda Government. Last year, Sibo was killed by FARDC while Habib was captured as a prisoner of war and now in Rwandan custody.
Ever since the RNC increased its operations in the DRC, these “disappearances” reports continued, by HRW and like-minded organisations who don’t pose to ask why the trend is that way.
When you follow HRW’s reporting closely, you clearly see a pattern of reporting around claims of “disappearance” and “executions” and “repression” and they never acknowledge their mistakes. The 31 December 2018 United Nations Group of Experts report on the Congo traces the path of the “disappeared.” It gives the strongest signal for anyone interested in locating these people in what it refers to as “a network” across the region.
This puts the credibility of HRW and other rights organisations is serious doubt. The flaws in their reporting as pointed out over time points to serious dishonesty and bias.