03.11.07 - ICTR/HRW - HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WISHES TO GIVE ITS OPINION ON A TRANSFER

  Arusha, 3 November 2007 (FH) - The American organization for the defence of human rights, Human Rights Watch (HRW), requested to file an opinion (Amicus Curiae) before the chamber of the International Chamber Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) seized with trying the transfer request to Rwanda of one of the defendants.   
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This "Amicus Curiae", which has not yet been filed, has already been the subject of a negative opinion from the prosecutor of the ICTR, who filed the transfer request. This opinion is based on exceeded deadlines. The chamber can ignore this restriction.
 
"HRW believes that it has valuables information on the current status of the Rwandan judicial system that will assist the chamber in making a proper determination of the case", says this text signed by the executive director of HRW, Kenneth Roth. "Although Rwanda has made notable progress in improving its judicial system, there remains serious obstacles to fair and credible prosecutions in Rwanda, especially for persons accused of genocide and other crimes relating to events of 1994", Roth writes.
 
The principal concerns of which the organization would like to share relate to the right to the presumption of innocence, the right to introduce witnesses and the right to be tried by a competent, independent and impartial court.
 
This request was presented before the chamber responsible for ruling on the transfer of Fulgence Kayishema, a former police inspector at large that the prosecutor requested to transfer on 11 June. Rwanda, seized by the chamber, estimates itself competent and able to try him.
 
This request for Amicus Curiae was filed on October 25, whereas on 1 November the organization Amnesty International requested that the ICTR defendants not be transferred to Rwanda. Three other Rwandans are currently the subjects of transfer requests to Rwanda: Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana and the former businessmen Gaspard Kanyarukiga and Yussuf Munyakazi.

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