Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Rwanda: human rights groups concerned about impartiality of Tribunal

Four human rights groups have sent a letter to the Security Council suggesting that the changes proposed for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) could make it more difficult to prosecute officers in the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA).
When the Security Council established the ICTR, it called on the tribunal to prosecute not just the genocide, but also ”other systematic, widespread, and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law”, including those committed by members of the RPA.

... Del Ponte [chief prosecutor] has long been a thorn in the side of the RPF, which has actively resisted investigations of RPA soldiers. In one case, Kigali even imposed restrictions on the travel of witnesses to genocide trials as way of exerting pressure on Del Ponte to suspend such an investigation.

Last year, Del Ponte appealed to the Security Council to call directly on Rwanda to cooperate.
Please read the entire article ... and consider the implications of this: Washington has called for the ICTR to wind up its investigations by September, 2004 and all trials by 2008.

Here is an earlier post about the genocide trials in Rwanda.