Arusha, 9 October 2007 (FH) - The majority of prisoners at the detention center of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, were still true on Tuesday to a hunger strike started the day before to protest against the transfer projects to Rwandan courts of accused of the United Nations tribunal, it was learned from official source.

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According to a source at the ICTR registry, 38 prisoners out of 55 are still on a hunger strike.
The representative of the prisoners, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, former chief of Staff of the national gendarmerie, indicated that the strike was to last until Tuesday evening, added the source.
This movement had been announced in a letter addressed last Friday to the president of the ICTR and signed by 40 of the 55 prisoners.
On 7 September, the ICTR prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, addressed to the president of the tribunal motions aiming at transferring to Rwandan courts Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana and the businessmen Gapard Kanyarukiga and Yussuf Munyakazi.
"The motions of the prosecutor only fit the tripartite agreement between the USA, the United Kingdom and the leaders of the RPF in power in Kigali aiming to quickly end the mandate of the ICTR in order to protect the members of that front from criminal prosecution for crimes which they committed in Rwanda during the jurisdictional period of this tribunal", the 40 prisoners wrote.
"We suggest you reject the motions of the prosecutor, to rather ask the chambers to concentrate in order to schedule without any further delay the proceedings for the six prisoners still awaiting their trials ", continued the letter.
Within the framework of its completion strategy, the ICTR, which must finish its first instance trials by the end of next year, is constrained to transfer some accused to national courts.
Based in Arusha, in northern Tanzania, the ICTR has delivered, up to date, 28 convictions and 5 acquittals.

© Hirondelle News Agency