Sweden will be first EU nation to extradite Rwandan facing genocide charges

[JURIST] Sweden will become the first European Union (EU) nation to extradite a Rwandan to his native country so that he can stand trial for his alleged role in Rwanda's 1994 genocide [HRW backgrounder], Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask [official profile] announced Thursday. The announcement comes in response to a Rwandan government request [Aftonbladet report, in Swedish] for Sweden to turn over Sylvere Ahorugeze, a Tutu who headed the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority [official website] during Rwanda's civil war. Ahorugeze had been living in Denmark for several years as a refugee before being arrested in Sweden. In May, the Supreme Court of Sweden [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in favor of his extradition. He is expected to arrive in Rwanda within three weeks.

In May, a Rwandan Hutu was the first to be convicted [JURIST report] under Canada's new Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act [text, PDF]. In April, the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) [official website] called on the Rwandan government to investigate reports of killings [JURIST report] during and after the uprising by the Rwandan Patriotic Army. In March, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile; JURIST news archive] pledged his ongoing support [JURIST report] for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [JURIST news archive] (ICTR) and stressed that the international community must continue to combat genocide.

 

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