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Arusha, December 22 2006 (FH) – The Rwandan association « African Rights » has declared in a communiqué that the sentence of 15 years of imprisonment that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has issued against Father Seromba is « paltry » and that it constitutes a « denial of justice ». For survivors whose kith and kin were killed by or with the complicity of Father Seromba, « this verdict is nothing short of a denial of justice »; « It can only widen and deepen the already immense gulf that exists between the ICTR and the survivors », the association comments. African Rights, which declares itself to be the first association to have accumulated evidences against the priest and which had traced him in Italy where he was exercising his priesthood under a false identity, underlines that though Seromba only gave in to the pressure of the ICTR, the tribunal has found extenuation in his surrender. « Given the recent record at the ICTR, where acquittals, reductions in sentences and very short prison terms have become the norm, the surprise is perhaps that Fr. Seromba, a Roman Catholic priest, was sentenced at all », African Rights continues. Father Athanase Seromba, accused of having organized the massacre of 2000 Tutsis in the church of his parish located in Nyange (West of Rwanda) was facing charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, concerted planning of genocide and crimes against humanity. The prosecutor announced this Friday his decision to appeal. PB/MG © Hirondelle News Agency