Magazine article New Internationalist

Double Trouble: Exiles Escape Charges as Prisoners Die (in Rwanda)

Magazine article New Internationalist

Double Trouble: Exiles Escape Charges as Prisoners Die (in Rwanda)

Article excerpt

ONE YEAR AFTER the genocide in Rwanda there is still no justice for the victims and their families, says a report by Medecins sans Frontieres.* Since April 1994, only three people-two in Canada and one in Belgium-have been subject to judicial proceedings.

The vast majority of the military and militias responsible for the genocide have found refuge in Tanzania or Zaire, where they benefit from aid provided by the international community in the form of relief programmes for Rwandan refugees. The French Army, which controlled the south-west of Rwanda in mid-June 1994, took no measures to arrest them.

Meanwhile, inside Rwanda, one in eight of the inmates of Gitarama prison died between September 1994 and May. The prison was built for 400 but there are now over 7,000 prisoners awaiting judgement, the majority of them on charges of genocide. They have less than half a square metre of living space each. Many have no choice but to stand day and night.

Among the referrals to Kasbgayi hospital, 38 per cent are suffering from trauma wounds and 41 per cent from rotting feet caused by standing on the wet and dirty ground, often resulting in amputation. …

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