Rwanda security service threatened, intimidated refugees in the Netherlands
Political refugees from Rwanda say that the Rwandan secret service is intimidating and threatening them in the Netherlands, Zembla reported in a broadcast on NOS. Refugees noticed people following them on the street and were harassed by anonymous phone calls.
Zembla found that the police received at least three reports from Rwandans being threatened or harassed. One case involved information about an attack on a Rwandan opposition leader in the Netherlands.
That case involved opposition politician Victoire Igabire. Her daughter Raissa Ujezena told Zembla that the family received a tip in 2008 that the Rwandan regime wanted to kill Ingabire. The information came “from within the Rwandan embassy in The Hague,” Ujezena said.
Ingabire returned to Rwanda in 2010, after 16 years in the Netherlands, to run for president. She was arrested and imprisoned for allegedly denying the 1994 genocide. She has since been pardoned but is not allowed to leave the country.
A Rwandan refugee told Zembla that Rwandan government personnel followed and watched him in 2020. When Rwandan President Paul Kagame visited the Netherlands in 2015, his security guards assaulted protesters and took their phones, the protesters said to the program.
The Rwandan embassy in The Hague rejected the allegations.
The National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) does not consider Rwanda an acute and significant threat. But other countries’ security services do regard Rwandan activities in Europe as a serious threat to national security.
Belgium, for example, considers Rwanda a country that, like Iran and Russia, monitors opponents and sometimes tries to assassinate them. Human rights organizations also point out that Rwanda harasses and sometimes tries to kill opponents. This has happened in countries like South Africa, Great Britain, and Belgium.