Rwandan bride and groom detained in stadium for breaking Covid rules

Newlywed bride and groom and their wedding party are forced to spend the night sitting outside in an empty stadium as punishment for breaking Covid rules in Rwanda

  • Reports say police broke up at least three weddings over due to Covid breaches
  • Photos show entire wedding party being held in an outdoor stadium after arrest
  • Rwanda has been praised for Covid-19 response but human rights groups have raised concerns about the measures authorities are using to contain the virus 

A newlywed bride and groom were forced to spend the night sitting outside in an empty stadium along with their wedding party as punishment for breaking Covid rules in Rwanda.

Pictures shared by Rwandan media outlets show dozens of people including the bride and groom sat socially distanced in an outdoor stadium.

The party was reportedly transported directly to the stadium after police broke up the wedding which took place during the Easter weekend.

Photos show newlyweds in Rwanda being detained in a sports stadium with their wedding guests after police broke up the event at the weekend citing breaches in coronavirus rules

Reports suggest that Rwandan authorities broke up at least three weddings this weekend

According to the BBC, police in the capital, Kigali, had stopped at least three weddings because they exceeded the maximum of 20 guests.

Rwanda’s response to Covid-19 has been praised by international authorities as the country has seen just 22,684 coronavirus cases with a total of 311 deaths since the pandemic began last year.

With a comprehensive emphasis on contact tracing, the country mobilized community health care workers and police and college students to work as contact tracers.

The government also set up national and regional command posts to track cases to help contain the virus.

Reports suggest the country is also using human-size robots in the COVID-19 clinics to take patients’ temperatures and deliver supplies. 

However, their measures have been criticised with campaigners claiming they have violated human rights in the process.

Human rights groups have criticised the measures used by Rwandan police to control the virus

According to the Human Rights Watch, many of those arrested for Covid breaches have been detained in sports stadiums without due process.

The group claims they have been forced to spend nights listening to public-health messages over loudspeakers and under the watch of armed guards. 

One bride told the BBC: ‘[Spending the evening at a stadium] on my wedding day is a bad memory that will never fade in my life.

‘Inflicting pain and shaming people like this doesn’t make us fear corona or observe measures.’

However, Rwandan National Police Spokesperson CP John Bosco told local media outlets he was unapologetic about the incident and said more stern actions will be taken for COVID-19 protocol violators.

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