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Why early release for genocide top inciter worries Rwandans

A few days back an international court was planning to approve the early release from the prison of one of the top genocide master minder and Hassan Ngeze the former Chief editor of Kangura- the paper said to have propagated anti-Tutsi propaganda that fueled Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda 1994 despite the objections from the prosecutors who claim it will undermine confidence of the international justice systems to combat culture of impunity and the extremism.

The Ten commandments author that was published in 1990 is described as the essential elements in creating and spreading hatred that led to the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

He called for the murder of the Tutsi’s, armed the killers and provided the list of the victims to be killed.

Ngeze was convicted by the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on several counts of genocide-related crimes, and of aiding and abetting extermination as a crime against humanity.

The conviction was upheld by an appeal court which said: “Ngeze used the publication (Kangura) to instil hatred, promote fear, and incite genocide.”


Judge Theodor Meron wants to have all genocide convicts released

Now, after completing two-thirds of a 35-year sentence, Ngeze has applied for early release. Lawyers expect that it will be granted later this month by Theodor Meron, an American who heads the international court which took over responsibility for administering sentences after the individual tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia were wound up.

Simone Monasebian, one of the international prosecutors at the trial of Ngeze and others involved in anti-Tutsi propaganda, has written to Meron describing him as a “mastermind of the genocide” and objecting to his release.

The accused “were duly convicted of crimes that shocked the conscience of humanity,” she said in the letter. “Their newspaper and radio station fuelled the genocide and were more potent and dangerous than any bullets or machetes.”

Another prosecutor in the case described the prospect of Ngeze’s early release as “appalling” at a time when the UN and international community are trying to counter violent extremism.

“To this day, they refuse to recognise it was a genocide against the Tutsi. To this day, they refuse to accept any responsibility for their actions. They are unrepentant violent extremists,” she said.

Meron’s criticisms

Rwanda criticizes the U.S judge Theodor Meron move of reducing the court sentence after only serving a third of the punishment.

Earlier before, last year, other multiple numbers of the genociders by the same judge was released on the halfway of their sentences include Ferdinard Nahimana,father Emmanuel Rukundo and others an act which the survivors ‘direct denial’.

Who is Hassan Ngeze

Hassan Ngeze was born in Rubavu commune, Gisenyi prefecture, in Rwanda. He is a Muslim who worked as a journalist in 1978. He is the founder of the bi-monthly ‘Kangura’ loosely translated as ‘awakening’. The paper released its first issue in 1990-1994 with Kinyarwanda and French Language Magazine that served to stoke ethnic hatred until genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

Charges and sentences

Ngeze fled Rwanda in june in 1994 as the country fell to the RPF. He was arrested in Mombasa, Kenya on july 18,1997, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003, by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2007, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR reversed some of his convictions, but confirmed others and he was to serve 35 years’ imprisonment.

On 3 December 2008 he was sent to Mali to serve his sentence of imprisonment.

Ngeze was responsible for the publication of the Hutu Ten Commandments which said Hutu men were traitors if they married or befriended Tutsi women, that Tutsis are “dishonest in business” and only interested in “the supremacy of their ethnic group”, and that only Hutus should be in positions of power or administrative control.

Per now he has only served a third of the sentence.

Role in Genocide

During the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda 1994 ,Ngeze provided names of the Tutsi that were supposed to be killed on air.

He is allegedly charged to have personally supervised and taken part in torture,mass rape and killing in his native Gisenyi prefecture. He was the organizer of the ‘Impuzamugambi Militia’

By Mike Urinzwenimana


The Express News

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