The video has fuelled allegations of an aggressive global crackdown on dissent by the authoritarian government of the small East African nation, dubbed the new “North Korea” by its critics. In the video footage, recently circulated on WhatsApp, more than 30 individuals can be seen standing in a crowded conference room at the Rwandan embassy in the UK, raising their hands and pledging loyalty to the governing party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Members of the Rwandan diaspora have told the BBC that such ceremonies are commonplace and designed to instil fear and obedience. One man said his relatives back in Rwanda had been abducted and possibly killed to punish him for refusing to co-operate. The Rwandan authorities have dismissed the allegations as false and unsubstantiated. But, while some of those attending the ceremony – understood to have taken place in 2017 – may well have been genuine supporters of the governing party, now living abroad, others have told the BBC that many attendees were there under duress.