Rwanda

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Kigali Genocide Memorial (Photo: Janet Anderson)
10 May 2016 by Janet H. Anderson Kigali (Rwanda)

Two Rwandans will go on trial today in Paris for genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial of Octavien Ngenzi and Tite Barahirwa - both former mayors from the south east of the country – is France’s second in a series of up to a potential twenty suspects, in connection with the 1994 genocide. Former spy chief Pascal Simbikangwa was convicted in March 2014 to 25 years in jail in the first ever judgment by a French court relating to the Rwandan genocide. But in October last year the French case against a notorious side-arm-carrying priest Wenceslas Munyeshyaka was dismissed to widespread criticism.

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Exhumations from May 2015 on a Periprava site believed to be a graveyard for camp victims (Photo: IICCMER)
03 June 2015

IJT 183 delves into an emotional trial in Romania in which Communist labour camp survivors confront their ex-commander.

Other features:

  • The first-ever ICTR trial transfer could be recalled from Rwanda
  • A new museum at a former detention centre reignites Argentina's debate on memorials
  • The world wrongly gambled on peace without justice in Burundi, says transitional justice expert in a Q&A

News brief:

  • Ivorian ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo is still wanted in The Hague
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Rwandan genocide court artwork by Surian Soosay (Photo: Flickr/ssoosay)
02 June 2015 by Clive Muhenga, Arusha (Tanzania)

The UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) has for the first time said that a genocide case handed over to the Rwandan judiciary by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) may have to be returned, due to fair trial concerns. If taken, the decision would be a serious setback for the Arusha court’s exit strategy.
 

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Image from Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre (Photo: Flickr/trocaire)
19 April 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg

Due to close its door permanently this year [IJT-172], the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), started its final trial last week in the appeals case involving six ex-officials of the former province of Butare.

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09 November 2011

Summary:

STL: in absentia - the only way?

The first hearing trials in absentia under international law will take place before the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon on November 11. The defence and the prosecution will present arguments on moving into absentia proceedings. The STL is the anomaly in the family of international courts. Its Statute is the only one that permits trials in absentia. This marks a significant departure from current practice and procedure in relation to international law. But there is no convincing justification for this yet, say experts.

Green light - Sweden to Rwanda genocide extradition

The long-awaited judgement in the case of Ahorugeze v Sweden was delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on 27 October. Judges decided that Sylvere Ahorugeze’s extradition to Rwanda would not breach the European Convention on Human Rights: his extradition would not expose him to a real risk of ill-treatment (Article 3) and it conformed with his rights to a fair trial, guaranteed by Article 6.

Guilty - Argentina dirty war commanders

A historic ruling convicting 16 people accused of crimes against humanity was handed down by a Federal Court in Buenos Aires on October 26. They were convicted of arbitrary detention, torture and unlawful killing, committed at the Naval Mechanical by rocketsaler">School (ESMA) during the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983.

Reconciliation or prosecution in Ivory Coast?

A situation without precedent in a country that seems to have returned to normal. But where hate and anger have yet to disappear completely. Healing the wounds after post-electoral violence in 2010/2011 is the new mandate of the Commission for Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation (CDVR). Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is conducting its investigations in the same country.

ECHR: power to the people

Reforms are desperately needed by the European Court of Human Rights – the supra-national court for citizens in 47, which belongs to the Council of Europe. It is based on the European Convention on Human Rights – the only international human rights agreement that provides the individual with a high degree of protection.

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20 January 2012

Summary and link to PDF of IJT 143.

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11 June 2014 by Clive Muhenga, Arusha (Tanzania)

One of the direct consequences of the establishment of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), established to carry out the remaining tasks of the two ad hoc tribunals after their closure, is that those convicted in Arusha can now apply for early release after completing two-thirds of their sentence, just like those convicted in The Hague [IJT-158]. Previously, they had first to complete three-quarters of their jail term.

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09 July 2014 by Clive Muhenga, Arusha (Tanzania)

Former chief of staff of the Rwandan army, major general Augustin Bizimungu “knew or had reason to know” but did not act. Confounding predictions that he could be acquitted [IJT-156], the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) appeals chamber upheld, on 30 June, Bizimungu’s responsibility as a superior for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated by soldiers in Kigali and two rural provinces in 1994.

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ICTR plaque
24 September 2014 by Clive Muhenga, Arusha (Tanzania)

Unlike those acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) who have been welcomed home as heroes, Rwandans cleared by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) are leery of returning home. Without travel documents or nations willing to host them, eight remain in limbo in Arusha, the seat of the ICTR. To date, the tribunal has secured new countries of residence for just six of the 14 acquitted so far. 

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08 October 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg

ICTR authorities in Kigali reacted with relief last week when the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) upheld genocide convictions in cases against three political leaders and an army official. 

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