24.07.07 - ICTR/FRANCE - AFRICAN RIGHTS WELCOMES THE ARREST OF TWO ACCUSED IN FRANCE

Arusha, 24 July 2007 (FH) - African Rights, an organization for the defence of human rights based in London, welcomed the arrest in France of two Rwandans accused of genocide.   

 

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In a 15 page statement published Tuesday, African Rights qualifies the arrest of the former prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta and Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka as a "critical breakthrough" in the prosecution of genocide suspects living in France.
 
Bucyibaruta was the prefect of Gikongoro (southern Rwanda) in 1994; Father Munyeshyaka was a priest at the Saint-Family parish in Kigali.
 
"The fact that the genocide in the prefecture of Gikongoro was comprehensive, methodical and highly efficient is due, in large part, to Laurent Bucyibaruta, the prefect of Gikongoro", writes African Rights.
 
"Munyeshyaka was physically present on almost all the occasions when massacres were carried out, or men and boys were abducted. But he did nothing to prevent or protest against these murders. Although he had a phone, refugees say he made no effort to call for help", according to the statement.
 
The organization also alleges that other genocide suspects are currently living in France and requests that they be brought to justice.
 
African Rights refers, notably, to Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, the former Sous-préfet of Gisagara (southern Rwanda), sought by the ICTR. France states that he is not on their territory.
 
The ICTR Prosecutor has asked that Bucyibaruta and Munyeshyaka be tried in France. The ICTR president, Dennis Byron, has designated a chamber to examine this request.
 
AT/MM
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