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UN rights rapporteur gives grim Rwanda assessment

Monday - 1/27/2014, 3:40pm  ET

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) -- The U.N. special rapporteur says Rwanda's government needs to open up political space and allow freedom of assembly.

Speaking to the reporters after a week-long assessment in Rwanda, Maina Kiai said there was "a lack of space for individuals to express dissenting views."

Kiai said political leaders who reject a "consensus approach" run into legal trouble in Rwanda.

Politicians opposed to President Paul Kagame, who has governed since 1994, have been jailed and harassed. Some have disappeared, some have been killed.

Kiai said he had discussed with Rwandan officials the recent killing in South Africa of an exiled former spy chief. Family and colleagues in the exiled political opposition accuse Kagame of ordering his assassination.

Kiai said he was concerned that officials appear to be "celebrating" Patrick Karegeya's death.


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