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Arusha, January 22 2007 (FH) - Human Rights Watch (HRW), a human rights organization based in New York, calls on the police and the judicial authorities of Rwanda to enforce the law and punish the crimes committed recently to avoid the beginning of a new cycle of violence in the country. In a twenty pages long report entitled « Murders in Eastern Rwanda », HRW recounts in detail 13 murders, 11 of which committed in reprisal, and recommends as a conclusion to conduct « a thorough and independent investigation » on these deaths. Eight persons, among which children aged three, eight and thirteen, a woman and an old man of seventy, were killed on November 19 by people living in a village named Mugatwa in retaliation of the murder of a genocide survivor. The eight victims « were apparently not connected to the murder », HRW indicates On November 23, a second incident happened in Rwamagana (about 50 km east of Kigali): a judge of a gacaca court was assassinated and the three suspects arrested by the police were killed the very same night. « The clues collected on the murder place and the testimonies of the witnesses suggest that the three men might have been the victims of an extra judiciary execution », reads the report. « The murder of genocide survivors costs lives and threaten justice. The right answer to this threat lies in a quick and efficient enforcement of the law, not in reprisal murders », Alison Des Forges, senior advisor in the African division of the organization, declares. Alison Des Forges adds that reprisal murders have been « very few in the past, but if they happen more frequently, they might trigger a new cycle of violence ». HRW concludes that « in every society, deaths in custody must be investigated thoroughly. Policemen, as every other citizen, should be punished if they commit a crime ». MG/AT © Hirondelle News Agency