Rwanda condemns Judge Theodor Meron’s decision to free Ntakirutimana
The Association of Genocide survivors in Rwanda (Ibuka) and The National Commission against Genocide (CNLG) have no kind words for ICTR Judge Theodor Meron following his decision to release Genocide convict, Dr Ntakirutimana Gérard.
Dr Ntakirutimana had been earlier on sentenced to 25 years in jail for his role in the 1994 genocide. The release comes at a time when Rwandans are marking 100 days of commemoration of genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over a million lives.
During the 1994 Genocide, Gérard Ntakirutimana was a physician and medical director in Mugonero hospital in the Mugonero complex, Kibyue préfecture.
For his actions in April 1994 at the complex, where hundreds of Tutsi civilians taking refuge were killed or seriously wounded, Ntakirutimana was charged in October 2000, with genocide complicity and conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.
A second indictment was also issued against Ntakirutimana on 7 July 1998, charging him with seven counts of Genocide, complicity to Genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of human rights.
In a press statement released by the Executive Secretary of CNLG Jean de Dieu Mucyo, he said that the commission is saddened by the judge’s action of taking decisions without considering the views of the prosecution team and other judges.
In the same reaction, Egide Nkuranga, the Ibuka Vice president, shunned the move made by Theodor Meron to release the convicted suspect, and described it as a way of trivializing genocide and denying the suspects involvement in the killings.
Nkuranga said that the genocide survivors in Rwanda will not stop rebuking such action by jugde Meron even when he (Meron) has over the years continued to release convicted genocide suspects.
Experts at an international conference on Genocide, held in Kigali this April, condemned the international community for not coming clear on their role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tusti and recommend the need to bring to justice suspects who live freely in the west, especially France, after committing genocide crimes.
The experts also said that the ICTR has been slow in doing its job and should do more in bringing to justice the suspects who have not been tried and live to its mandate of prosecuting the already arrested suspects.