Dutch court hands Basebya six years for Genocide

  • By Times Reporter
  • March 02, 2013
Basebya (seated) during one of the court hearings. Net photo.

A Rwandan-born Dutch citizen has been sentenced to six years and eight months in jail for inciting genocide.

Yvonne Basebya, 66, was convicted of inciting genocide against her ethnic Tutsi neighbours before the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, before moving to the Netherlands in 1998.

She was cleared of other charges, including perpetrating Genocide, murder and war crimes.

More than one million people were killed during the genocide.

The case made Basebya the first Dutch citizen to be convicted of crimes related to the Genocide.

Basebya wore a pink jacket, black trousers and sat impassively during the sentencing, the AFP news agency reported.

“She incited unfortunate youngsters to commit murder against Tutsis during meetings, as evidenced by the song she sang, ‘Tuba Tsembe Tsembe’, which means ‘let’s exterminate them all’,” Judge Rene Elkerbout said.

The wife of a former Rwandan government minister, Augustin Basebya, she immigrated to the Netherlands in 1998 – before her crimes were known.

She was prosecuted as a Dutch citizen.

Thijs Berger, the Dutch national prosecutor told The New Times earlier this week that in the trial they had demanded the court to hand Basebya life sentence. 

Basebya is the second Rwandan to be tried by courts in the Netherlands over Genocide charges.

In July, 2011, a Dutch appeals court sentenced Joseph Mpambara to life in prison.

John Bosco Siboyintore, the head of the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit, told this paper in an earlier interview that they trusted justice in the Netherlands.

Years ago, a Gacaca court in Gikondo, Kigali, found Basebya guilty of genocide crimes and sentenced her, in absentia, to life in prison.

In Basebya’s trial, 70 witnesses for the prosecution ,mostly from Rwanda were interrogated from the ground of the offence, according to Thijs Berger, prosecutor.


The Dutch judge understood that the punishment imposed to Mrs Basebya did not justify the extreme seriousness of the crime she is suspected of. A considerably heavier punishment would have been more appropriate, but he is bound to the Dutch law.

Mrs. Basebya has been sentenced for inciting to genocide, This crime was committed in the period 1990-1994. According to the Dutch law, until 2003 the maximum penalty for inciting to genocide was just five years imprisonment.

The Dutch legislator has adjusted the law. The maximum penalty for inciting to genocide is now 30 years. This punishment cannot be imposed retrospectively.

17:48:26 Saturday 02nd, March 2013 Zwolle the Netherlands - A.W.L.Balkema

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