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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 190th session
(Kampala, 5 April 2012)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Léonard Hitimana, who disappeared in April 2003 while he was a member of the Transitional National Assembly of Rwanda, which was subsequently dissolved on 22 August 2003, and to the resolution adopted at its 189th session (October 2011); referring also to the report of the on-site mission which the Committee carried out in June 2011 (CL/189/11(b)-R.3),

Recalling that the Speakers of both houses of parliament, in their letter of 14 October 2011, reported that they were unaware of any new evidence having emerged since the mission,

Considering that, according to information provided by one of the sources on 29 March 2012, Mr. Hitimana's disappearance had still not been seriously investigated,

  1. Regrets that, despite the fact that all the authorities with whom the mission met agreed that Mr. Hitimana’s disappearance had to be fully elucidated, there has apparently been no progress in this regard in the last nine months; 

  2. Recalls that the information gathered by the mission clearly shows that the assumption that Mr. Hitimana fled abroad cannot stand and that, consequently, any investigation based on that assumption is bound to fail, as is borne out by the inquiries made so far; stresses that, as the mission report shows, Mr. Hitimana was not a junior politician but played an important role in his party, particularly at the time of his disappearance;

  3. Once again calls on the authorities to carry out an effective investigation examining all lines of enquiry; recalls in this regard that the Minister of Justice pledged to the mission that he would ensure that the investigation would also cover the possibility that Mr. Hitimana had been assassinated in Rwanda; sincerely hopes that, with the new lines of inquiry being followed, new evidence will soon emerge, and looks forward to receiving information to this effect;

  4. Remains eager to ascertain the measures taken by the authorities to address a key obstacle encountered by the mission and affecting the pursuit of justice, namely the impossibility of meeting witnesses; is eager, therefore, to know whether the planned witness protection law has indeed been adopted and what practical steps have been taken as a result, and whether other initiatives have been put forward to reassure potential witnesses in Rwanda that their safety will be fully guaranteed if they come forward; believes that the investigation may also benefit from hearing any witnesses living abroad in their countries of residence, in particular by means of videoconferencing; wishes to know whether the authorities intend to explore this possibility;

  5. Deplores that, contrary to what the mission was told, the release for humanitarian reasons of Mr. Hitimana’s father, who is over 70 years old and in poor health, has not yet taken place;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary authorities and to the sources;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 127th IPU Assembly (October 2012).
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