Arusha, July 15, 2011 (FH) - Trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have been postponed and will resume in August as both courts go for a month long mid-year judicial recess.

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Hardly few days before such postponement, detainees at the United Nations Detention Facility (UNDF) for ICTR, announced a hunger strike in support of their co-inmate, Jean Uwinkindi, who is challenging the Tribunal's decision given on June 28, 2011, to transfer his case to Rwanda for trial.

On Wednesday 31 out of 36 of the detainees signed a communiqué, stating that Uwinkindi, a Pentecostal Church Pastor in the eastern part of Rwanda, informed the Commanding Officer of the UNDF on July 12, 2011 over his intention to start hunger strike to support his appeal he has lodged to challenge the decision.

In their communiqué accompanied with a letter addressed to the President of the Tribunal, the detainees noted with surprise that the highly contested decision was rendered at a time when Rwanda was subjected to numerous damning reports, denouncing most serious violations of human rights.

The Tribunal ordered the transfer of Uwinikindi's case having being satisfied that Rwanda was prepared to receive cases from ICTR and had made material changes in its law, noting, therefore, that it would adhere to international fair trial standards.

Whereas in Uganda, the first trial for war crimes before the International Crimes Division (ICD) involving Thomas Kwoyelo, a former colonel with the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), was open in Kampala on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to charges of war crimes notably for murders, kidnapping and property destruction.

In Rwanda, five police investigators from Netherlands are in Rwanda with a mission of conducting investigations over 20 persons suspected of being involved in the 1994 genocide, including a lady identifies as Yvonne Basebya, whose husband is a parliamentarian.


© Hirondelle News Agency