UNHCR urged to review decision to withdraw refugee status from Rwandan refugees

first_img Receive email alerts November 27, 2020 Find out more Reporters Without Borders fails to understand a decision by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to urge countries that have given asylum to Rwandan refugees to withdraw their refugee status by the middle of next year on the grounds that political life in Rwanda is back to normal.“What normalization is UNCHR talking about?” Reporters Without Borders asked. “President Paul Kagame was reelected with 93 per cent of the vote in 2010 in an election in which his main opponents could not take part. One is in prison and another is in exile and escaped an assassination attempt. The Rwandan authorities do not tolerate criticism. The independent press is harassed.“Even in exile, some refugees are in danger. Three Rwandan refugee journalists were the victims of a mysterious attack in the Ugandan capital of Kampala at the end of August. Another Rwandan journalist had a similar experience in Kampala a year ago. The assailants in both cases spoke Kinyarwanda. Dozens of people, including many journalists, will be endangered if governments and UNHCR withdraw the refugee status of Rwandan refugees and make them go back to Rwanda.”A meeting of the governments of asylum countries and other relevant actors is to be held in December to organize what is to be done with Rwandan refugees. UNHCR spokesperson Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba said the refugee agency intends to recommend cessation of refugee status for Rwandans by 30 June 2012.A Rwandan journalist who is a refugee in Europe told Reporters Without Borders: “The refugee camps continue to be the main recruiting centres of children and youths by armed groups so dismantling them is the best way to combat the reorganization of these dangerous armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. But it would be a big mistake, a grave human rights violation, to turn a blind eye to the suppression of free expression in Rwanda and to withdraw the refugee status of government opponents, journalists and human rights activists, who would risk imprisonment or murder.” Another Rwandan journalist, one who is refugee in southern Africa, said: “Lots of Rwandan refugees live in appalling conditions outside of Rwanda, above all in nearby African countries. If they don’t go back, they must have a reason. We want to return to a country where our rights and freedoms are guaranteed. But in Rwanda, you just have to be unfairly accused of ‘genocide denial’ or ‘revisionism’ and you go to jail. We cannot return to a country where arbitrary justice reigns.”Reporters Without Borders points out that two women journalists, Agnes Uwimana Nkusi and Saidath Mukakibibi, are serving sentences of 17 and seven years in jail respectively on charges of inciting civil disobedience, causing divisions and denying the 1994 genocide of the Tutsis.Every year, Reporters Without Borders registers several cases of Rwandan journalists being threatened, harassed and forced to flee the country. Around 10 have fled abroad since the start of 2010. Reporters Without Borders has approved 10 assistance grants for Rwandan journalists or their families during the same period.Cessation of refugee status would jeopardize the safety of many Rwandan journalists who have been helped by Reporters Without Borders.In a report released to mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, entitled “Forced to flee but not silenced – exile media fight on,” Reporters Without Borders included a profile of Jean-Bosco Gasasira, the Rwandan editor of the Umuvugizi.com news website, who is a refugee in Sweden. Read the report .Rwanda is ranked 169th out of 178 countries in the 2010 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. This is Africa’s third worst ranking. Only Eritrea and Sudan are below it in the index. More information on media freedom in Rwanda . News October 11, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 UNHCR urged to review decision to withdraw refugee status from Rwandan refugees Help by sharing this information RSF_en BBC Africa’s “disproportionate and dangerous” dismissal of a journalist The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa April 6, 2020 Find out more RwandaAfrica center_img Reports to go further Follow the news on Rwanda News Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent Organisation RwandaAfrica News February 13, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Harvard establishes research alliance with Tata companies

first_imgHarvard University has established a six-year, $8.4 million research alliance with a group of Tata companies including Tata Sons, Tata Communications, Tata Steel, and Jaguar Land Rover. Building on close connections between Harvard’s engineering and business Schools, the first-of-its-kind initiative adds a new leadership-development component to the University’s research partnerships.Under an agreement coordinated by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD), the collaboration will support cutting-edge research in labs across the University, while also providing professional development programs to visiting technology business leaders. The unique combination of research funding and executive education is designed to help position Harvard’s research innovations to bring the greatest benefit to the public worldwide.“This initiative will harness the power of research that crosses traditional academic boundaries, leading to more rapid discovery and the development of new products and services that address real-world problems,” said Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber.To accelerate the development of novel technologies and create a future generation of entrepreneurial leaders, the agreement establishes a Tata Fellowship Program at Harvard Business School (HBS). For each research project funded under the alliance, an experienced Tata employee will have the opportunity to spend up to a year in residency at Harvard in the HBS Executive Education Program. Nominated by the Tata senior leadership and subject to Executive Education admissions standards, Tata Fellows will benefit from the insight and guidance of an assigned HBS faculty mentor and gain the educational foundation to foster “intrapreneurship” within the Tata companies. They will also each collaborate with a Harvard research team to develop a commercialization plan for technologies that may arise from the funded projects.“Harvard has highly productive strategic alliances with several industry partners that support research on campus, in disciplines such as biomedical science, materials science, and chemistry. This initiative brings a new dimension that will include new links with Harvard Business School,” Garber said. “With its strengths in both science and business, Harvard is well positioned to succeed with this creative and integrated program.”The initial focus of the research alliance will be on robotics, wearable technologies, and the “Internet of things” (IoT), tapping into recent strides in the field of advanced materials. Over time, the scope could broaden to encompass new research areas of mutual interest. The arrangement with Tata is expected to stimulate a global exchange of ideas.“Non-U.S. executives account for close to two-thirds of the senior business leaders in our open-enrollment programs held in our classrooms in Boston, Shanghai, and Mumbai,” said Das Narayandas, senior associate dean for HBS external relations and publishing and Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration. “Harvard Business School faculty routinely develop and lead custom programs for marquee global clients around the world, introducing business leaders to the newest innovations and research in the areas of strategic thinking, change management, and leadership, among others.”Gopichand Katragadda, group chief technology officer for Tata Sons, said, “We are excited about forming this research collaboration between Tata and Harvard that will uniquely encompass engineering, management, and other disciplines to produce market outcomes. The Tata Group companies have pioneered products and services in diverse areas, including materials, automotive, telecommunications, and information technology. The Tata Fellows will bring deep market understanding in these areas for successful deployment of the advanced research at Harvard.”The funded projects, which have yet to be selected, will advance scientific research in labs across the University, including at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A joint steering committee will guide the overall direction of the research alliance and approve funding for the proposed projects.“In many ways this exciting alliance foreshadows the type of close interactions we anticipate between HBS, Harvard Paulson School, and our corporate partners as the much-anticipated Science and Engineering Complex and the enterprise research campus take shape in Allston,” said Isaac T. Kohlberg, Harvard’s senior associate provost and chief technology development officer. “We’re glad to be expanding Harvard’s range of corporate partnerships and eager to welcome the Tata Fellows into the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem of Cambridge and Boston.”last_img read more