Two other Rwandans who had spent 12 months in Uganda’s prisons have made it back to home, following many other Rwandans who were deported recently after being subjected to several kinds of tortures.
Both Samuel Nizeyimana, 29, from Musanze District and Jean Baptiste Niyomucunguzi, 25, from Burera District, say they arrived in Rwanda on Friday.
They all looked weak and traumatized even as they told the press about their encounter in captivity on Tuesday at the Rwanda National Police General Headquarters.
Nizeyimana says it was the first time he had gone to Uganda, when he was arrested in June last year.
At the time, he had come to visit her sister when people in Uganda’s police uniform stopped him at Gisoro Market on his way back home on June 3.
They asked him to identify himself and show his ID card.
He produced it, but they didn’t let him go.
“I showed them my ID and they went to keep it in their office. They took us to a magistrate who promised to give us a short prison term if we were not going to make matters complicated. Because of to the way they intimidated us, I agreed to give them my ID card,” he recounted.
He said that him and Niyomucunguzi had been initially advised by those policemen to say that they didn’t possess ID cards in court.
They would only spend one week instead of 18 months doing community services.
Niyomucunguzi said that the court requested them to pay Ug.sh20,000 promising them that they would spend just one week doing community services and come back to Rwanda but they didn’t have the money.
Nizeyimana added that the court later sentenced them to 12 months each and they were then taken to distant places he calls ‘other distant countries’ where they couldn’t even locate themselves because the people they met there spoke other languages.
He was taken to Gahini Prison where inmates were fatally beaten, while Niyomucunguzi was taken to Kiburara Prison.
There are more than 300 Rwandans in Gahini Prison and some are even beaten to death when they can’t plough land.
Nizeyimana said they were woken up at 3 am and headed to work in the fields from 6 am to 6pm, on an empty stomach.
Niyomucunguzi advises other Rwandan who are still in Rwanda to avoid travelling to Uganda because it is no longer a safe place for Rwandans.