Saturday, 1 June 2013

Rights Body Calls For Speedy Delivery Of Justice Following The Arrest Of Genocide Suspects In The UK

Rights body calls for speedy delivery of justice following the arrest of genocide suspects in the UKREDRESS a British human rights organization, has welcomed the arrest of five 1994 genocide against the Tutsi suspects who were arrested following the fresh extradition request by Rwanda and called for speedy trial of the suspects.
The arrested men are; Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Charles Munyaneza, Celestin Ugirashebuja, Vincent Bajinya and Celestin Mutabaruka.
In a statement, REDRESS said that: “The Metropolitan Police’s arrest of five Rwandan genocide suspects in the UK is an important step forward in the pursuit of justice for survivors of the genocide 19 years ago.”
REDRESS however is concerned about the ongoing delay in the delivery of justice in this case since four of the suspects were released over four years ago, there have been no apparent steps taken in the UK to investigate with a view to prosecuting them.
A prior extradition request for four of the suspects was rejected by the UK High Court in 2009, on the basis that they would not have received a fair trial in Rwanda. The men were then released without charge or conditions.
Since then, the four suspects have been living freely in the UK, despite the High Court’s finding in 2009 that they had a “case to answer” on the basis of the evidence presented.
A fifth suspect Celestin Mutabaruka was also arrested latest swoop. All five men are wanted by Rwandan authorities for their alleged involvement in mass crimes during the genocide.
Three of the accused men were formerly mayors of Rwandan communes. Emmanuel Nteziryayo headed Mudasomwa commune, Charles Munyaneza was the bourgmstre (Mayor) of Kinyamakara commune while Celestin Ugirashebuja was head Kigoma commune. All these communes are found in the current day Southern Province.
Suspect Celestin Ugirashebuja most prominent among the five is said to have carried out 5 massacres. Some witnesses have reported that he had his own Interahamwe unit which, during the second week of April 1994, patrolled the commune pillaging, ransacking and raping women.
He is reported to have organised meetings in order to prepare the massacres and to incite the people present to kill the Tutsis.
“We welcome these arrests as a significant step towards ensuring accountability for those accused of the most egregious crimes under international law. It is imperative that these suspects no longer enjoy impunity,” said REDRESS.
REDRESS reiterates the importance of justice for survivors of the genocide, as it can play a central part in restoring victims’ rights and dignity and healing the trauma they have suffered..
“Nowhere, including the UK ought to be a safe haven for those accused of genocide and related international crimes.
A denial of justice can exacerbate the horrors which survivors have endured and even more so when suspects have been identified and can be held accountable, but are seen to be going about their lives with impunity.”


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