The New Times (Kigali)

5 December 2012

Rwanda: Genocide Convicts Must Not Live Lavish Lifestyles

editorial

We reported yesterday that 14 Genocide convicts, including the former prime minister, Jean Kambanda; Genocide mastermind Col. Theoneste Bagosora; the former Mayor of Taba commune, Jean Paul Akayesu; and Ferdinand Nahimana, one of the founders of hate radio station RTLM, are living lavish lifestyles in the Malian capital Bamako, running businesses and have staff working for them in their prison cells.

These reports must not be ignored and the ICTR and Malian government should urgently look address the situation.

They have not only tainted the international justice system, but have also left victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi among other crimes against humanity, wondering whether their quest for justice is being ignored.

The convicts are allowed to leave their cells unguarded to visit family and friends in the city whenever they want.

These men are masterminds of one of the most heinous killings of the 21st century.

For them to be living the good life while their victims are either long gone, or living with the effects of their odious actions is totally unacceptable.

The Mechanism of the International Criminal Tribunals, which is primarily charged with the conditions of the prisoners, must investigate these reports and bring to justice those responsible. And, if needs be remove Mali from the list of nations holding convicts of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The more than one million people who lost their lives because of the actions of these men must be respected. Sadly, these lost lives will count for nothing if the people who are directly involved in their murder live out the remainder of their days in plush luxury.

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