Arusha, December 15, 2009 (FH) - The main organization of Rwandan genocide survivors, Ibuka, has accused the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) of trivializing the genocide and encouraging negationism through "recurring acquittals".

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"In the last few years, Ibuka has noted with regret an increasing tendancy at the ICTR to trivialize the Rwandan genocide", the association wrote on December 7 in a letter to Rwandan Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama, a copy of which was obtained by  Hirondelle News Agency.

Ibuka says that "a striking illustration is the recurring acquittals of former politicians and soldiers who played an irrefutable role in planning and perpetrating the Tutsi genocide and in crimes against humanity".  

The ICTR has acquitted eight persons since its creation, including Protais Zigiranyirazo, former president Juvenal Habyarimana's brother-in-law, last month.

"As well as a gradual increase in the number of unfair and unjustified acquittals, the tendency of ICTR judges is to reduce the length of prison sentences against accused persons found guilty of planning and executing the genocide," reads the letter.

According to Ibuka, "such unacceptable practices encourage negation of the genocide which is growing in Western countries because of a network of lobbies headed by ICTR defence counsels, university professors and journalists".

Ibuka urges the Rwandan government to "immediately take appropriate measures to prevent the ICTR from further trivializing the genocide". The organization suggests that such measures include "no longer authorizing defence lawyers and investigators of the ICTR to enter the territory of Rwanda". Ibuka accuses these lawyers and investigators of conspiring with genocide convicts in Rwanda to fabricate evidence for the defence.


© Hirondelle News Agency