African Press International (API)

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Genocide suspects can now have sex: Rwanda blasts UN tribunal for allowing conjugal rights to genocide suspects

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

The Rwandan minister of Justice and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama, on Wednesday expressed governments dissatisfaction over a decision by the United Nations tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, for introducing conjugal visits for the Rwandan genocide detainees, describing the move as ridiculous and very dangerous to the justice process.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) trying the 1994 genocide suspects, last week said the decision to allow genocide suspects conjugal rights, was made in respect to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in keeping with similar rules at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

But, in an interview with APA in Kigali, Karugarama said though the Rwandan government fully respects the decision passed by the international court of competent jurisdiction, it was deeply saddened by the fact that people who killed, raped and violated private parts of both men and women, should be allowed the right to make love.

Its very absurd and unfortunate to international justice and an insult to the victims of their crimes. Its demeaning the intensity of the genocide crime and serves no lesson to the criminal who raped and mutilated peoples private parts, Karugara, a high court judge said, adding that Rwanda will never support such a right if those detainees were transferred to Rwanda for trial.

He explained that each country has its own judicial practices and in Rwanda such rights can never be granted to a prisoner, especially a genocide detainee.

The Rwandan Prosecutor General, Martine Ngoga was very furious about it and said: This is very ridiculousI dont know what kind of legacy the ICTR is trying to leave behind.

The decision by the UN tribunal is coming just as it has only one year remaining for it to close as directed by the UN Security Council last month.

The ICTR was established in November 1994 to try key architects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda which claimed the lives of over one million Rwandans in just one hundred days. It has 56 detainees including 18 convicts awaiting host countries where to serve their sentences.

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API/APA

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