Mugesera detained as deportation remains in balance

Reports from Canada, on Sunday, indicated that Genocide fugitive Leon Mugesera was detained upon his release from a Quebec City hospital on Saturday afternoon. According to the Toronto Sun, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Mugesera was transported to a CBSA-operated holding centre in Laval, Que., north of Montreal.

Reports from Canada, on Sunday, indicated that Genocide fugitive Leon Mugesera was detained upon his release from a Quebec City hospital on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Toronto Sun, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Mugesera was transported to a CBSA-operated holding centre in Laval, Que., north of Montreal.

The CBSA spokesperson, Esme Bailey, said that Mugesera will have his detention reviewed by the Immigration and Refugee Board “within 48 hours.”

Rwanda’s Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, on Sunday told The New Times: “We are hoping to have some communication from Ottawa when business resumes after the weekend. But we hope, now that he is discharged from hospital, the authorities in Canada should resume deportation arrangements without further delays.”

While facing deportation last Thursday, Mugesera dramatically fell ill the day before and was hospitalised in Quebec City, where he has lived for nearly two decades. For the last 15 years, Mugesera has fought a deportation order, citing fears for unfair trial and torture once returned to Rwanda.

The man accused of helping to incite the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was scheduled to be deported on Thursday to Rwanda to face trial for a 1994 highly inflammatory, ethnically-charged speech.

With Canada poised to deport 59-year former university don, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Committee against Torture (OHCHR-CAT), made a surprise intervention, requested for a delay of the deportation order until it has investigated his torture claims.

The Quebec Superior Court subsequently ordered a stay of deportation until January 20, a decision taken while Mugesera was on a hospital bed.

The move has since angered Genocide survivors, who have demanded his prosecution for his insidious speech.

In his November 22, 1992 speech, Mugesera allegedly told 1,000 party members that “we the people are obliged to take responsibility ourselves and wipe out this scum [the Tutsi]” and that they should kill the Tutsi and “dump their bodies into the rivers of Rwanda.”

Mugesera was a vice chairman of MRND, the party that plunged the country into the Genocide that claimed at least a million lives.

james.karuhanga@newtimes.co.rw

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