Distr.
GENERAL

E/CN.4/1998/54/Add.1
4 February 1998


Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Fifty-fourth session
Item 9 (a) of the provisional agenda


FURTHER PROMOTION AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS, INCLUDING THE QUESTION OF THE PROGRAMME AND METHODS OF WORK OF THE COMMISSION

ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES AND WAYS AND MEANS WITHIN
THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT
OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS


Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women,
its causes and consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy

Addendum

Report of the mission to Rwanda on the issues of violence
against women in situations of armed conflict

CONTENTS

Introduction

I. GENERAL BACKGROUND

II. THE GENOCIDE: WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

III. THE IMPUNITY: PUNISHING THE PERPETRATORS
A. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
B. The national trials

IV. THE CURRENT SITUATION OF WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
A. General
B. Medical and psychological status

V. WOMEN IN PRISONS AND DETENTION CENTRES

VI. UNITED NATIONS OPERATIONS AND AGENCIES IN RWANDA
A. Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (HRFOR)
B. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
C. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

VII. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

VIII. RECONCILIATION, DEMOCRACY AND POWER-SHARING

IX. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
A. At the international level
B. At the national level
C. Non-governmental organizations

Annex: List of selected persons/organizations with whom the Special Rapporteur met during her mission

Introduction
(a) Violence against women during the genocide;

(b) The status of women post-genocide;

(c) Progress achieved in punishing perpetrators at the national and international levels;

(d) Conditions of women in detention.
"(a) Killing members of the group;

"(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

"(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

"(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

"(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

The case of "JJ" (1)
"They threw us into the building where they were drinking and smoking marihuana. A young man rushed at me. He led me to the corner of the room. He undressed and put his clothes on the ground. I asked him what he was doing, he said I had no right to ask him anything. In fact, he did humiliating things to me even though I was a mother. When he finished the first time, he started a second time. I was so exhausted. I was almost insensitive. He left me and climbed into the area where other persons were being raped. I could hear the cries of young girls but I could not stand up to see. While I was recovering, a second person came and made me lie down again. He undressed. When he pulled out his penis, he still had his underwear on. He also raped me. By now I was practically dead. Maybe he realized I was going to die since he left after he had finished. A third person came while I was there. When he saw me rolling on the ground he put on a condom. When he was finished I thought I was going to die for sure. I could not put my thighs together anymore. When they finished they went away .... After the meeting, the Interahamwe made us return to the Cultural Centre. When we arrived inside, they did the same thing they did before. They raped us again. I was raped twice .... The rapes were public, they raped us in front of the children. The rapists were young rascals. Try to imagine a mother raped by young boys." [back to the contents]

I. GENERAL BACKGROUND
"1. Every Muhutu should know that a Mututsi woman, wherever she is, works for the interest of the Tutsi ethnic group. As a result, we shall consider a traitor any Muhutu who:

- marries a Tutsi woman

- befriends a Tutsi woman

- employs a Tutsi woman as a secretary or concubine."

The second commandment read:

"2. Every Muhutu should know that our Hutu daughters are more suitable and conscientious in their role as woman, wife and mother of the family. Are they not beautiful, good secretaries and more honest?"

The third commandment read:

"Bahutu women, be vigilant and try to bring your husbands, brothers and sons back to reason."
II. THE GENOCIDE: WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE (13)

The case of Bernadette
The case of Monique
The case of Denise
The case of Jeanne
The case of Donatilla
The case of Marceline
III. THE IMPUNITY: PUNISHING THE PERPETRATORS
A. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
(a) Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular murder, as well as cruel treatment such as torture, mutilation or any other form of corporal punishment;

(b) Collective punishment;

(c) Taking of hostages;

(d) Acts of terrorism;

(e) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, rape, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault;

(f) Pillage;

(g) The passing of sentences and carrying out executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
"In cases of sexual assault:

"(i) ... no corroboration of the victim's testimony shall be required;

"(ii) consent shall not be allowed as a defence if the victim

"(a) has been subjected to or threatened with or has had reason to fear violence, duress, detention or psychological oppression or;

"(b) reasonably believed that if the victim did not submit, another might be so subjected, threatened or put in fear.

"(iii) before evidence of the victims's consent is admitted, the accused shall satisfy the Trial Chamber in camera that the evidence is relevant and credible;

"(iv) prior sexual conduct of the victim shall not be admitted in evidence.
B. The national trials
IV. CURRENT SITUATION OF WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

A. General
B. Medical and psychological status
(a) To improve the access of women victims to medical services;

(b) To create national networks of women victims of violence;

(c) To increase the technical capacity of the health personnel;

(d) To encourage women to make use of the health services available to them;

(e) To raise funds in support of women victims of violence;

(f) To increase the availability of medical equipment and medication, especially for women victims of violence.
V. WOMEN IN PRISONS AND DETENTION CENTRES

"It was pouring down with rain and the door to the women's cachot, only one narrow door amongst many in the wall of a long row of mud houses, was barely visible. As we stepped into a pitch-black hole, I nearly fell over as my feet stepped on legs, arms and women's bodies crouched together so tightly on the wet earth that no space was left for standing. My eyes slowly adjusted themselves to the permanent darkness and I saw the women, with their children, living in a room measuring not more than 5 by 8 metres, with no window and no light. The smell of dampness mingled with the unbearable stench of urine, sweat, dirty clothes and body heat.

"I thought I was going to suffocate as the women prisoners slowly started gathering around us, abandoning the baskets they were weaving to pass time. Many of them had spent nearly two years in these conditions of unbelievable overcrowding and atrocious sanitary conditions. Once the interpreter explained the purpose of our visit, the women prisoners began talking and shouting at once: that they had not received any soap for some time and no sanitary napkins for months; they were not allowed outside the cachot at all, except for going to the toilet accompanied by a male prison guard; they had to wash themselves in one corner of the small cell, divided off by a towel, with rainwater; they only received one meal per day or sometimes none, and that they had to gather rainwater which seeps through holes in the roof or through the airhole to have enough to drink. They also asked us what we are going to do for them?". (18)
(a) The full registration of all prisoners upon arrival at prison;

(b) An individual place to sleep for each prisoner;

(c) Adequate and clean sanitary installations, baths and showers;

(d) Regular supply of toilet articles, including soap, toothpaste and sanitary napkins;

(e) Availability of drinking water at all times;

(f) Daily access to the open air for at least one hour;

(g) Regular access to the services of health professionals, including gynaecologists;

(h) Adequate medical treatment, if necessary.
VI. UNITED NATIONS OPERATIONS AND AGENCIES IN RWANDA
A. Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (HRFOR)
B. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
C. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
VII. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
VIII. RECONCILIATION, DEMOCRACY AND POWER-SHARING
IX. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

A. At the international level
(a) The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should critically evaluate the possibilities for providing support for the establishment of a national human rights commission in Rwanda;

(b) HRFOR, in cooperation with UNDP, should finance the building of new prisons and detention centres, in order to alleviate the inhuman conditions prevailing in central prisons and cachots in Rwanda, on the basis of an agreement with the Government of Rwanda that new space is not to be used as an excuse to detain more people without any legal basis;

(c) Employment conditions for HRFOR staff must be stabilized and career opportunities created in order to ensure efficiency, quality and continuity;

(d) Human rights monitors should receive adequate legal training, including gender sensitization and reporting on gender-based crimes.
B. At the national level
C. Non-governmental organizations
Annex

LIST OF SELECTED PERSONS/ORGANIZATIONS WITH WHOM THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR MET DURING HER MISSION

H.E. Ms. Aloysia Inyumba Minister for Gender, Women and Social Affairs

H.E. Mr. Anastase Gasana Minister for Foreign Affairs

H.E. Dr. Vincent Biruta Minister for Health

Mr. Simeon Rwagasore Attorney-General President, Human Rights Commission, National Assembly Vice-President, Political Commission, National Assembly

Ms. Rose Mukankomeje President, Women's Caucus, National Assembly

Ms. Immaculé Kayumba Member of the National Assembly

Ms. Agnes Mukabaranga Member of the National Assembly

Mr. Théoneste Mutsindashyaka Secretary-General, Ministry of Interior, Communal Development and Resettlement

Mr. Ephreme Bourgmestre of Taba

Ms. Jacqueline Rusilibya Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Ms. Urusaro Uwagaga Alice Karekezi Independent Monitor on Gender-Related Crimes for the ICTR

Ms. Zayinabo Kayitesi President, Haguruka

Ms. Soline Twahirwa Executive Secretary, Haguruka

Ms. Claudine Gasarabwe President, Dukanguke

Ms. Agnes Mukabaranga Dukanguke

Ms. Beatrice Mutalikanwa President, PROFEMMES

Ms. Shema Xaverine ASOFERWA

Ms. Emerita Mukayiranga Club mamans sportives

Ms. Mary Barikungeli Director, Clinic of Hope

Ms. Veneranda Nzambazamariya Women's Network for Rural Development

Ms. Jeanne Bushayija Centre for the Economic Situation of Rwandese Women

Ms. Jane Rocamora Judicial Adviser, Ministry of Justice/UNDP

Dr. Rwamasirabo Director, Kigali Central Hospital

Dr. Jeanne Kabagema Kigali Central Hospital

Dr. Francine Kimanuka Kigali Central Hospital

Prof. Simon Gasibinege Health Project, Butare Trauma Clinic

Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (Kigali)

Mr. Bernard Muna Deputy Prosecutor

Mr. Max Nkole Commander of Investigations

Ms. Sharon Lowery Witness Liaison, Victims and Witnesses Protection Unit

Ms. Valentina Tsoverina Legal Adviser

Ms. Fadila Tidjani Victims and Witnesses Protection Unit

United Nations (Kigali)

Mr. Babacar Cissé Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP

Ms. Rebecca Dale Special Assistant to UNDP Resident Coordinator

Ms. Rebecca Symington Programme Officer (Justice and Human Rights), UNDP

Ms. Rose Rwabuhihi UNIFEM Programme Officer

Mr. W.R. Urasa UNHCR Representative

Ms. Armineh Arakelian Regional Adviser for Refugee Women, UNHCR

Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (HRFOR)

Mr. Simon Munzu Chief a.i.

Judge Kaplan Senior Adviser

Mr. Scott Hays Head, Security and Communication Unit

Mr. José-Luis Herrero Service Press and Information Officer

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

(Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania)

Judge Laïty Kama President of the Court

Judge Navanethem Pillay

Judge Lennart Aspegren

Mr. Agwu U. Okali Registrar

Ms. Patricia Sellers-Viseur OTP, ICTY/ICTR

Ms. Françoise Ngendahayo Special Gender Adviser, Registrar's Office

Mr. Frederik Harhoff Senior Legal Officer

Ms. Rosette Muzingo-Morrisson Legal Officer

Mr. Roland Amoussouga Chief, Victims and Witness Protection Unit (VWPU)

Ms. Sylvie Becky Investigator, VWPU

Mr. Pierre Prospère Prosecutor

Ms. Sara Darehshori Prosecutor[back to the contents]

Notes

1. The testimony by "JJ" as heard by the Special Rapporteur on 24 October 1997 when observing the trial against Jean-Paul Akayesu at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha. "Interahamwe" refers to Hutu militia groups during the 1994 genocide.[back to the text]

2. For a detailed description see Alain Destexhe, Rwanda and Genocide in the Twentieth Century, London, Pluto Press, 1994 and African Rights, Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, London, 1994.[back to the text]

3. For a general description of the process see African Rights, ibid.[back to the text]

4. Ibid., p. 30.[back to the text]

5. Human Rights Watch, Shattered Lives: Sexual Violence during the Rwandan Genocide and its Aftermath, New York, 1996, pp. 15-18.[back to the text]

6. Ibid., p. 21.[back to the text]

7. Ibid., pp. 21-22.[back to the text]

8. Ibid., p. 23.[back to the text]

9. Supra, note 5, Human Rights Watch, p. 2.[back to the text]

10. Government of Rwanda, Department of Statistics, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning/UNFPA, Socio-Demographic Survey, 19 July 1997.[back to the text]

11. Ibid., p. 11. [back to the text]

12. Ibid., p. 8.[back to the text]

13. These cases are based on first-hand testimonies collected by the Special Rapporteur during her mission.[back to the text]

14. Christine Chinkin, "Amicus Curiae Brief on Protective Measures for Victims and Witnesses", in Criminal Law Forum, volume 7, Number 1, 1996.[back to the text]

15. Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Prosecuting Genocide in Rwanda, July 1997, p. 39.[back to the text]

16. Ibid., p. 53.[back to the text]

17. Ibid., p. 62.[back to the text]

18. First-hand account of the visit of the Special Rapporteur to a women's cachot or detention cell in Taba.[back to the text]

19. James C. McKinley, "Killings by Hutus frustrate hope of nation- building in Rwanda", International Herald Tribune, 23 December 1997, p. 2.[back to the text]


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