The neat-as-a-pin African country where people are executed for petty theft

In October, Innocent Mbarushimana was caught stealing a few bananas in the village of Kabeza in western Rwanda. Two months before that, an improverished farmer named Jean Kanyesoko was caught red-handed stealing someone’s sugarcane.

They and dozens of others were shot dead or beaten to death in the last year by Rwandan security forces, including soldiers, police and members of a military auxiliary force, Human Rights Watch reported Thursday.

Among those summarily executed were suspects accused of taking cows, motorcycles or lightbulbs. Smugglers who sneaked across the nearby border with the Democratic Republic of Congo met the same fate, as did fishermen in Lake Kivu who used illegal nets.

Kanyesoko, the impoverished farmer, was 64 and had five children to feed when he was shot by soldiers after he was caught stealing sugar cane, Human Rights Watch said. A soldier standing next to his body told the dead man’s neighbors to take the body away, adding that orders had been issued to kill all thieves.

Source
AFRICA – Los Angeles Times




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