Rwanda rights advocate probing judge's rape role arrested for genocide complicity

[JURIST] A senior official in a Rwanda [JURIST news archive] human rights organization was arrested Wednesday in the capital of Kigali after being implicated by a local gacaca [Wikipedia backgrounder] court in the 1994 genocide. The official, Francois-Xavier Byuma, is vice president of the board of the Rwandan League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LIPRODHOR) [advocacy website, in French] and president of Turengere Abana, the Rwandan Association for the Protection and Promotion of the Child. LIPRODHOR has in the past been critical of gacacas, which were set up to ease the strain of genocide cases on Rwanda's official criminal courts, finding some to be corrupt or dangerous [LIPRODHOR reports, in French].

Just before being detained, Byuma was investigating the rape of a 17 year-old girl. Amnesty International [advocacy website] reported that leads suggested that the presiding judge of the gacaca court was the rapist [report text]. Amnesty expressed concern for the safety of Byuma, and does not believe he will receive a fair trial. AFP has more.

 

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