July 5, 2022

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Rwanda: Death of rapper Jay Polly in custody

# In other countries : Rwandan rapper Jay Polly, detained since April after being arrested at a banned party where drugs were found, has died under undiagnosed conditions, we learned from the hospital where he was transferred Thursday night.

Jai Pali, whose real name is Joshua Tuishimi, arrived at the hospital around 3am on Thursday, Pascal Enkupido, director of Muhima Hospital, located in the capital Kigali, told AFP. “He was in a critical condition and unconscious. Doctors tried to revive him, but unfortunately he died shortly after. He was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m.,” he said. “I do not want to speculate on the cause of death. We will find out after the autopsy,” he added.

The Rwandan prison administration said in a statement that a “full investigation” was underway to determine the origin of the death.

“The important information we have is that Jay Polly and two of his friends (…) shared the alcohol mixture they prepared with the prisoners for shaving, water and sugar,” Robber said before being transferred to Muhima Hospital. At 00 “was taken away.

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Joshua Tuishime, 33, was arrested along with several others at his home in April, where a banquet was held.

Parties are strictly prohibited in Rwanda due to Govt-19. People caught in the act are forced to spend the night in stadiums, where instructions on Covit-19 are broadcast over loudspeakers or detained. Police said Joshua Tuishimiye and the guests were found to be “drunk and drug abusive”.

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“Three of the violators were found with false negative test certificates for Govt-19,” police spokesman John Bosco Cabera said. The composer appeared in court on Wednesday, during which his trial for drug use was set for December 2. He had sought release from prison claiming that the 30-day pre-trial detention period had ended, but he was denied bail.

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Rwandans have paid tribute to this famous singer, especially on social media as he is hailed as “the cultural symbol that contributed so much to Rwandan (music)”. Another musician, Kisido Mihiko, died in custody in February 2020. This gospel singer, known as a fierce critic of the Rwandan power that banned his music, was hanged in his cell. Police said he committed suicide.

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for an independent inquiry rejected by Rwandan authorities. Mihiko, who was sentenced in 2015 to 10 years in prison for plotting against the government before his release, was arrested for trying to cross the southern border from Rwanda to Burundi.