Arusha, May 25, 2011 (FH) - Pakistan Judge Khalida Rachid Khan has been elected President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for a period of two years effective from May 27, 2011.

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According to ICTR press statement issued Wednesday, Judge Khan replaces Judge Dennis Byron from St. Kitts and Nevis, whose term of office expires on 26 May 2011. The latter had succeeded Norwegian Judge Eric Møse who was ICTR President since May 2003.

Prior her election Judge Khan has been Vice-President of the Tribunal since May 21, 2007. She becomes the second woman to head the UN-backed Tribunal mandated to try key perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The first woman to be appointed to the post was Navanethem Pillay of South Africa, currently serving as UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Born on September 25, 1949 in Peshawar Pakistan, Judge Khan began her career as a civil judge in 1974 and later became Solicitor to the Government of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. She was also the first woman to be appointed as Sessions Judge in the Indian subcontinent.

She joined the ICTR in August 2003. Prior to joining the Tribunal, Judge Khan served as a Senior Puisine Judge on the High Court of Peshawar where she was the first Pakistan woman ever appointed to that position.


© Hirondelle News Agency