Justice delayed is justice denied

Editor, This is in reaction to the Right to Reply piece, “Clarification on a news article following the ICTR Registrar’s visit to Rwanda”, (The New Times, March 2).
ICTR offices in Kigali. The New Times / File.
ICTR offices in Kigali. The New Times / File.

Editor,

This is in reaction to the Right to Reply piece, “Clarification on a news article following the ICTR Registrar’s visit to Rwanda”, (The New Times, March 2).

When you go through all this legal smokescreen what you have left is still the fact that decades after its creation and billions of dollars down the drain, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has failed to render justice to the victims of the survivors.

Worse, it has connived to refer cases to a state known to have been a close ally of the genocidaires. The Swahili have a saying that when you are aggressed by a monkey, you don’t seek justice from a baboon.

Almost 20 years after the Genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi, some of the worst planners, organisers, executors live comfortably and unmolested in France. And the ICTR, so prompt to pressurise Rwanda on frivolous issues regarding the few comparatively minor cases referred to it, is completely silent regarding France’s clear unwillingness to render justice against her allies.

In the meantime, geriatric “judges” with their own unavowed agenda are reversing or even radically reducing the few ICTR convictions, leaving the victims in even worse pain than if their hopes had never been raised that they might receive justice.

And in any case, even if we accepted the ICTR’s poor explanation for lack of action to force France to try the cases it referred to that country, when it should have considered the political will of that country to deliver justice against her allies, the tribunal should remember the long-standing doctrine that justice delayed is justice denied.

Instead of which the ICTR has continued to handle Paris’ reluctance to proceed on these cases with special soft kid gloves.

The European Court of Human Rights, unlike the more politicised ICTR, had more backbone in condemning France for its delay in trying Father Wensceslas Munyeshyaka.

Rwandans’ eyes are now fully open regarding these so-called international tribunals that have less to do with justice than international political agenda.

Mwene Kalinda, Kigali

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