24 July 2005

Rwanda: More Prisoners to Be Released

Kigali — The government is currently identifying more prisoners to benefit from the 2003 Presidential Decree that provides for provisional release of thousands of inmates, the Prosecutor General Jean de Dieu Mucyo has said.

Mucyo, who was addressing judicial officials at his office in Kimihurura, Kacyiru district said the release would be effective before the end of this month.

Most of the prisoners are accused of participating in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide in which an estimated one million, mostly Tutsis, were massacred in a record spell of 100 days.

"Those to be released range from young people aged below 18 years (at the time of the Genocide), the sick and the aged, from 75 years and above," Mucyo said.

The release would be the second of its kind after a similar one in 2003 which saw about 23,000 inmates handed provisional releases.

The chief prosecutor said some of the suspects had already spent many years behind bars beyond genuine sentences.

He added that there were prisoners who complained that they had been unreasonably jailed for long and noted that they decided to train the victims in order to disclose their crimes for eventual release.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor has noted that the Supreme Court was now expecting all judicial activities to be computerised soon so as to ease judging cases both inside and outside Rwanda, adding that there are also plans to teach computer skills to all supreme judges in order to ease the internal working system.

This was revealed in the upper judicial chamber of the Supreme Court which deals with collection of data and dossiers for individuals.

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