Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Rwanda: "hate media" verdict in ... all three found guilty

The three men were found guilty of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity ... and they used the media to do it.

Ferdinand Nahimana -- founder of Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM) -- LIFE

Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza -- RTLM board member -- 35 YEARS (w/ time served = 27)

Hassan Ngeze -- Kangura magazine -- LIFE

The full text of the judgment isn't up on the ICTR website yet ... but if you're interested, check this periodically.

Here is a bit from the NY Times article on the verdict ...
John Floyd, who defended one of the executives, a newspaper editor named Hassan Ngeze, denounced the verdict as a major setback for free speech and an invitation to dictators to close down any media outlet that is out of favor.

"This is a terrible, terrible decision, the worst decision in the history of international justice," Mr. Floyd said. "This is very, very dangerous. This case would have been laughed out of an American court."

...What today's verdict will do, according to Rapp, the prosecutor, is make clear that the media directors are responsible for broadcasts and articles that incite violence, even if they are not in day-to-day control of their news outlets. ...

"The media was every bit as important as the weapons of war," he said in an interview.
There's more on the story in yesterday's post ...