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Rwanda proposes world’s first nationwide DNA database to combat crime – sparking human rights fears 

Rwanda proposes world’s first nationwide DNA database to combat crime – sparking human rights fears

  • Samples would be taken from all of Rwanda’s 12 million citizens under proposals
  • Attorney General says the scheme would help fight crimes like rape and murder
  • But the initiative has already caused alarm among human rights activists

Rwanda has proposed the world’s first nationwide DNA database to combat crime – sparking human rights concerns.

Under the scheme, samples would be taken from all of Rwanda’s 12 million citizens. 

The country’s Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye said the database would help to fight crimes like rape and murder.

Rwanda has sparked human rights concerns by proposing the world’s first nationwide DNA database to combat crime. Pictured: The city’s capital Kigali

But the initiative has already caused alarm among human rights activists, the Independent reports.

Alexandrine Pirlot de Corbion, from Privacy International, told the website: ‘There is an inherent risk that this kind of database could be misused in the future.

‘Around the world we have seen instances where large sets of data have been misused for repression – allowing authorities to identify and profile groups in society that a government might want to locate.’

Busingye said the country now has the ‘technical basis’ to launch the ‘development of a DNA database’.

But he cautioned that there is a legal process go through first.

Local media quote him as saying: ‘We will examine global best practice on the issue, propose appropriate law and implement accordingly.’

The country's Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye (pictured) said the database would help to fight crimes like rape and murder

The country’s Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye (pictured) said the database would help to fight crimes like rape and murder

‘I want to assure you that the ultimate goal is to have all the necessary equipment and technical know-how to provide accurate information about who is responsible for crime’.

If confirmed, Rwanda would be the first country to implement nationwide DNA database to combat crime.

In 2015, Kuwait announced plans for everyone in the country – including expats – to give DNA samples to the nation’s police force.

It came in the wake of a devastating suicide bomb attack on a mosque in the capital. 

But two years later, the law was revoked with a court ruling it violated Kuwait’s constitutional guarantee of personal liberty.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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