Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rwanda: Mugesera family writes to Canadian Minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism

April 21, 2012

The Honourable Jason Kenney
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

Ottawa OntarioK1A 1L1

Honourable Jason Kenney,

Enforcement of the assurances on human rights provided by the government of Rwanda to the government of Canada in Leon Mugesera’s case    
We are writing to you regarding the case of Leon Mugesera, and to demand that you immediately communicate with the government of Rwanda(“Rwanda”) to request that THE said government honours and enforces the assurances on human  rights (“Assurances”) it provided to the government of Canada (Canada) on March 27, 2009.

In the Assurances, Rwanda guaranteed  that if Canada removed Leon Mugesera from Canada and deported him to Rwanda, Leon Mugesera would, inter alia,have the right to a fair trial, would be detained in accordance with the minimum standards of detention stipulated I  the United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

Canada acted upon the Assurances and forcibly removed Leon Mugesera from Canada and deported him to Rwanda on January 23, 2012. In doing so, we humbly believe that Canada bluntly violated its international obligations not to deport a refugee, Leon Mugesera,to a country notoriously engaged in the practice of torture, and the Committee against torture of United Nations’Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rightstried, unsuccessfully, to prevent Canada from violating its international obligations in a letter dated January 11, 2012. We firmly believe that Canada’s decision was a blatant violation of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, which guaranteed Leon Mugesera the right to life, liberty and security and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

The fundamental principle stating that “ex injuria jus non oritur” (i.e.: law does not arise from injustice) proves to be true in Leon Mugesera’s case. As a matter of fact, Canada’s violations of Leon Mugesera’s refugee and human rights lead and gave sway to numerous violations of Leon Mugesera’s human and legal rights in complete violation of the Assurances, including and not limited to:

1.       Leon Mugesera is tortured by Rwanda (refer to the Supreme Court of Canada’s definition of what constitutes torture in Suresh c. Canada, 2002 CSC 1, par. 43, following which torture is “the unlawful use of psychological or physical techniques to intentionally inflict severe pain and suffering on another, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or with the consent of public officials);
2.       Leon Mugesera is not fed properly and is starved;
3.       Leon Mugesera’s right to a legal counsel of his choice is denied (lawyers fear for their personal safety and security in Rwanda, and fear to face professional liability if they participate in a mock trial where their freedom to defend their client’s rights is subject to unjust, unwarranted and arbitrary conditions and restrictions);
4.       Leon Mugesera’s right to communicate with his family is denied;
5.       Leon Mugesera’s religious rights, including the right to practice his faith, are denied;
6.       Leon Mugesera’s constitutional right to be tried in French is denied; and
7.       Leon Mugesera is condemned in advance and as such, his right to a fair trial by a independent and impartial tribunal is denied.

Given the recent public policy announcements and actions undertaken by the current conservative government, we have reasons to fear that Canada is engaged in the slippery slope of being associated with, being perceived as condoning, being used as an accessory to, condemnable and criminal practices by foreign governments , including the practice of torture (psycholigical and physical) by Rwanda in violation of the Assurances and of Canadian and international law (see Jim Bronskill, “CSIS gets green light to share info despite ‘substantial’ torture risk”, The Globe and Mail, Ottawa, Friday, Mar. 02, 2012). Accordingly, we humbly request that:

1.       Canada communicates with Rwanda and requests that Rwanda honours and enforces the Assurances it provided to Canada;
2.       Canada requests that Rwanda stops any psychological and physical methods used by Rwanda to extract from Leon Mugesera a false confession in violation of his right to be presumed innocent and right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment;
3.       Canada requests that Rwanda stops threatening the lives and property of Leon Mugesera’s family in Rwanda and its attempts to coerce them to make false testimonies regarding Leon Mugesera’s character and reputation to safeguard their lives and belongings;
4.       Canada requests that Rwanda respects Leon Mugesera’s rights as a prisoner, including the right to communicate with his family;
5.       Canada requests that Rwanda guarantees the safety and security and the freedom of Leon Mugesera’s lawyers;
6.       Canada requests that Rwanda feeds Leon Mugesera properly and stops starving him;
7.       Canada allocates resources to the monitor Rwanda’s practices to ensure that the Assurances provided to Canada are honoured, respected and enforced by Rwanda’s kangaroos courts; and
8.       Canada requests that Rwanda grants Leon Mugesera the right to attend mass and respects his religious rights;

We humbly believe that the requests above are necessary to protect Leon Mugesera’s rights, to ensure that Rwanda respects and honours the Assurances it gave to sCanada, and reaffirm Canada’s commitment to the advancement of human rights and its unqualified condemnation of torture in all matters where its national security interests are not under threat.

We would be grateful if you contacted us to let us know if you accept to grant our request.

We wish to thank you for your time and consideration with respect to this matter. Should you have any comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned at 418-380-3333.

Thank you for your attention into this important matter.


On the behalf of Leon Mugesera Family,
Uwamariya Gemma


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