Editorial: Notorious Genocide convicts belong behind bars, not on our streets

Apart from Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, who is regarded as the mastermind of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Ngeze Hassan was perhaps the most notorious Genocide convict,

Ngeze was the publisher of the infamous Kangura newspaper which, together with the hate radio station, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), was the main conduit of inciting ethnic hatred and fanning the Genocide.

He is serving a 35-year jail term in Mali, one of the holding prisons, and is also one of three prisoners who have applied for early release which will likely be accorded by the controversial Judge Theodor Meron. The judge has not only granted early releases to many genocidaires, he has also been instrumental in reducing their long sentences.

Meron has been a source of distraught and trauma among some Genocide survivors for his irresponsible and insensitive actions. But all their protests have fallen on deaf ears and the judge continues to dispense justice as he sees fit.

It is time the United Nations, the parent organisation of the Arusha-based tribunal, stepped in and stop leaving the fate of the court in one person’s hands. Releasing into the public of those convicted of the vilest crimes only helps in propagating revisionism.

Those already released have shown no remorse and portray themselves as innocent victims, some even brand themselves as “former political prisoners” and continue to spread their poisonous ideology that is today starting to manifest itself among the young generation, especially offspring of key players in the Genocide.

Any decision to grant early release of the convicts should only be done in tandem with consultations with the Government of Rwanda and Genocide survivor groups, otherwise the UN will be extending a lifeline to proponents of genocide ideology.


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