Thursday, July 17, 2008

No Justice--No . . . Justice! - a Letter to the UN from some of its political prisoners in Arusha

No Justice--No . . . Justice! - a Letter to the UN from some of its political prisoners in Arusha

[If you’ve ever wondered why all the media furor over Zimbabwean election violence, or over China's tormenting its Tibetan subjects, or the FARC's senseless kidnapping of innocent (and photogenic) civilians, just doesn't seem to jibe with the historical record; and you’ve wondered why so much ink, sweat and tears are spilt over mass crimes against certain select victims (e.g, Bosnian Muslims, Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus, European Jewry lost to European Fascism), while little or no mention is made of others (e.g., Yugoslav nationalists, Rwandan supporters of the duly-elected Habyarimana government or any of the uncounted civilians in Eastern Congo, and the legions of secular Arabic, Soviet and Chinese citizens felled by those same forces of global Fascism): here below is a letter from the political prisoners* of the UN-mediated imperialist conquest unto annihilation of Central Africa which might explain just how much the Western mind-managers have to cope with in keeping the truth well out of public consciousness.

Perhaps the eighth wonder of the modern world is just how so many have been kept so ignorant for so long—in the interests of so few.

Everyday Butros Butros-Ghali's words—that the 1994 Rwandan tragedy was a 100% American production—become more and more livid. The killing in Rwanda had next to nothing to do with hatred, with tribal or religious or ethnic animosity, and everything to do with Western imperialism's malignant (i.e., indiscriminate) wasting of the riches of the vast African treasure land and the ancient human community that belonged to it.

Perhaps if the US president-to-be, Barack Hussien Obama, can be informed—and maybe reformed—as to the real responsibility his Democratic and Republican colleagues, political ancestors and advisers, bear for the on-going liquidation of his African kith and kin—of just how his African (and American) families, along with all his Iraqi and Afghan and Palestinian and Latin American cuzes, are paying for their own extermination with the enormous riches of their homelands: perhaps then there might be a small possibility, the slightest glimmer of hope, that the US will realize its real and much-suppressed majoritarian interests (commonplace in places like Serbia, Russia and Zimbabwe), and join the international community in promoting real justice and reconciliation.

And let this reanimation of the truth in History not just be in the name of the silent victims, the long, lonely dead. But for the sake of all the generations to come, let the innocent be freed immediately, and let the real villains (most of whom, like Paul Kagame or John McCain or Bob Kerry or Wesley Clark or Bill Clinton, have long since gloatingly admitted to their high crimes), let the death mongers be punished to the full extent of the law, as prescribed by an independent humane justice in a world at peace. –mc]

{*A PDF file containing this letter in its original French and English versions is attached.}


Arusha, June 29 2008

UN Political Prisoners
UN Detention Facility (UNDF)
Arusha, Tanzania.

His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General
Honorable Judge Dennis C.M. Byron, President of the ICTR,

Subject: Denunciation of the obstruction of justice by the ICTR Prosecutor

Mr. Secretary General,
Mr. President,

By his statement before the UN Security Council, on June 4, 2008[1], Mr. Hassan Bubakar Jallow, the ICTR Prosecutor, acknowledged, for the first time, that members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) committed crimes falling under the ICTR jurisdiction. Indeed, he stated that he is in possession of evidence which shows that members of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPF's military wing) killed 13 religious people, including 5 bishops, as well as two civilians, at Kabgayi on June 5, 1994. However, he said nothing about other cases concerning hundreds of thousands of civilians massacred by RPF soldiers, identified thanks to investigations conducted by the UNHCR[2], by independent human rights organizations such as Amnesty International[3] and Human Rights Watch[4], by Spanish Judge Andreu Merelles, as well as by independent personalities, such as Filip Reyntjens and Serge Desouter[5], He also chose to consign to oblivion the attack against the plane carrying President Habyarimana by the RPF on April 6, 1994, a terrorist attack which is recognized, by numberous observers and experts of the region, including UN and ICTR Prosecutor’s experts, as the factor which treiggered the Rwandan tragedy[6].

The ICTR Prosecutor has chosen to deprive the ICTR judges of the possibility to hear cases about crimes committed by RPF members at Kabgayi and elsewhere in Rwanda in 1994[7]. Between 2003 and 2008, the Prosecutor, M. Bubakar Jallow, did not prosecute any of them despite the fact that his predecessor, Madame Carla Del Ponte, had, before her removal from office following pressure from the US and UK governments, already completed some cases and was on the verge of issuing indictments against RPF members[8]. Meanwhile, he is extremely unwilling to communicate to the Defense exculpatory material for the persons accused before the ICTR despite their numerous requests[9]. For that reason and in view of the ICTR Statute and Rules, the Prosecutor bears the essential responsibility for granting impunity to the RPF members. On the contrary, he convicted persons associated with the former regime for crimes committed by the RPF members, and is doing his utmost to achieve other convictions[10]. This is the reason why we want strongly to denounce him for his systematic obstruction of fair and impartial justice at the ICTR.

We find particularly outrageous the decision of the ICTR Prosecutor, Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow, to hand over to the Rwandan government the case concerning civilians killed at Gakuazo near Kabgayi, whereas, according to his statement before the UN Security Council, it relates to RPF senior officers still on active duty. The pretext according to which the ICTR and Rwanda share a concurrent jurisdiction is unacceptable. Such a point of view is contrary to the mission entrusted to the ICTR by the UN Security Council, to concentrate “on the prosecution and try the most senior leaders suspected of being most responsible for crimes” and to transfer “cases involving those who may not bear this level of responsibility to competent national jurisdictions”[11] .

This kind of conception is additional proof that the Prosecutor conducts a discriminatory prosecution with the objective of shielding RPF military from international justice by pretending that really independent and fair trials of the RPF military would be possible before jurisdictions under the control of the same RPF[12]. The ICTR Prosecutor, Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow, pretends not to be aware of the fact that President Kagame has consistently stated that RPF officers never committed the crimes of which they are accused[13], notably by human rights organizations mentioned above, by the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière and the Spanish Judge Andreu Merelles. The Prosecutor deliberately wants to ignore the scandalous outcome of the case concerning the Kibeho massacres in which eight thousand (8,000) internally displaced persons were exterminated by RPF military led by Colonel Ibingira. In order to mislead the public opinion outraged by that slaughter, a travesty of justice was set up against the latter. He was given a symbolic sentence. But that sentence was never served. Instead, soon after that conviction, he was promoted to the rank of general[14].

We would like to recall that the RPF regime, through its national assembly, categorically refused that those religious people killed at Kabgayi be buried in dignity under the pretext that they were “génocidaires”[15]. How can the Prosecutor think, today, that the RPF regime is suitable to dispense justice to victims that it refused to recognize as such? The archbishop of Kigali, Mgr. Thaddée Ntihinyurwa, who courageously expressed his doubt about the neutrality of the RPF regime in the trial of the authors of the killing of religious people at Gakurazo, near Kabgayi, following orders from the RPF leaders, was threatened in thinly veiled terms by President Kagame during his press conference held in Kigali on June 18, 2008[16].

During that same press conference, General Kagame directed his attack against justice. He stated that judges should not put the blame on the military of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) who might have committed crimes here and there during the war. He maintained that if the judges think that they have the power to do so, they should instead ask him to answer for them because all of them were under his command. With that statement, General Kagame publicly challenged justice, in general, and, in particular, the ICTR, which did not dare to prosecute him despite the fact that it has jurisdiction over him.

The Prosecutor compromised his credibility and that of the ICTR by yielding to external pressure in violation of Article 15 of the Statute, which requires of him a strict independence, and by protecting a criminal who dares to insult publicly national and international justice.

Taking into account the foregoing, the UN Political Prisoners, signatories of the present letter, request the UN authorities, in general, and the UN Secretary General and the ICTR President, in particular, to take necessary measures to preserve the impartiality, the independence and the credibility of the Tribunal. They should make sure that the Prosecutor fulfils his functions provided for by the ICTR Statute. He should retract his scandalous decision to transfer the Kabgayi case to the Rwandan jurisdiction. Indeed, he has no right to relinquish his obligation to follow through with the investigations of all crimes committed by all persons responsible before the ICTR.

We urge all human rights activists to undertake concrete actions to prevent the ICTR Prosecutor from granting definitively impunity to RPF members.

Sincerely yours,

Signatories: See the attached list {in PDF}


Copie pour information:

- The President of the UN Security Council;
- The ICTR Judges (all);
- The ICTR Prosecutor, Arusha;
- The ICTR Registrar, Arusha;
- Defense Lawyers (all);
- ADAD President, Arusha;
- UN Council for Human Rights, Geneva;
- International Commission of Jurists, Geneva;
- European Court of Justice, Luxembourg;
- European Court for Human Rights, Strasbourg;
- Amnesty International, London;
- Sidiki Kaba, President of Fédération Internationale
des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), Paris;
- Mike Posner, Executive Director of Lawyers Committee for Human Rights;
- Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch;
- Alioune Tine, Secretary-General of Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme;
- Families of the signatories;
- Centre de Lutte contre l’Impunité et l’Injustice au Rwanda (CLIR), Brussels;
- FDU (Forces Démocratiques Unifiées);
- SOS Rwanda-Burundi;
- Dukomere Association, Brussels;
- International Crisis Group (ICG);
- Human Rights Watch, New York;
- The press.



[1] Statement made at the occasion of the presentation of the Report by the ICTR President before the UN Security Council (5904th Meeting).

[2] Investigations conducted by Mr. Gersony, on behalf of UNHCR, but no action was taken about it by the UN. See also about this matter, investigations carried out by Human Rights Watch and published in the book “Leave None to Tell the Story”[by Alison Des Forges] put into evidence before several ICTR Chambers; See also the book of Mme Florence Hartmann: Paix et châtiment: les guerres secrètes de la politque et de la justice internationales (Paris, Flammarion, 10 septembre 2007).

[3] Report of Amnesty International dated 20/10/1994, “RWANDA: Reports of killings and abductions by the Rwandese Patriotic Army”, April-August 1994.

[4] “The Aftermath of Genocide in Rwanda”; “Leave None to Tell the Story”.

[5] Filip Reyntjens: “Sujets d’inquiétude au Rwanda en octobre 1994”.

[6] See the Report on the situation of human rights in Rwanda by Mr. R. Degni-Segui, Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Commission, 28 June 1994; Report of the UN Commission of Experts, Doc. S/1994/1405 of 9 December 1994; expert witnesses before the ICTR notably Bernard Lugan, Helmut Strizek, Serge Desouter, Filip Reynjens and André Guichaoua.

[7] Curiously, in his recent decision to hand over the Kabgayi case to the Kigali regime, he deliberately ignored crimes committed elsewhere in Rwanda for which some direct testimonies in his possession were disclosed in some cases before the ICTR.

[8] Madame Florence Hartmann, former spokesperson of the Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, in her book published in September 2007 and entitled: Paix et châtiment: les guerres secrètes de la politique et de la justice internationales (Paris, Flammarion, 10 September 2007), unveiled manipulations which the ICTR was subjected to in order to grant impunity to RPF members. In her book published in April 2008 under the title “The Hunt: Me and My War Criminals,” Madame Carla Del Ponte did not contradict Florence Hartmann.

[9] For example, motions were filed in the following cases: Case the Prosecutor vs Nahimana et al, No ICTR-99-52-T, Case the Prosecutor vs Nyiramasuhuko et al, No ICTR-98-42-T, Case the Prosecutor vs Bagosora et al, No ICTR-98-41-T, Affaire Procureur contre Karemera et al, No ICTR-9844-T, Case the Prosecutor vs Casimir Bisimungu et al, No ICTR-99-50-T, Case the Prosecutor vs Ndindiliyimana et al, No ICTR-00-56-T.

[10] Even if it appears, from several scandalous decisions rendered by the ICTR judges, that the latter also bear the responsibility for the blatant partisan direction taken by the ICTR justice, in favor of the victor, the Prosecutor is, pursuant to Article 15 of the Statute, responsible for the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for such violations committed in the territory of neighboring states, between 1 January and 31 December 1994. According to that Article, the Prosecutor shall act independently.

[11] Resolution 1503 of 28 August 2003.

[12] One knows that entrusting to the butcher the right to prosecute his accomplices equates to giving him license to perpetuate impunity. Similar iniquity has already been committed in the case of Rwanda. Indeed, one recalls that the UN Security Council entrusted, by its Declaration of 13 July 1998, to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda the investigation of massacres of Rwandan refugees and Congolese civilians committed between 1996 and 1998 and to punish the perpetrators. Ten years after, no suspect was prosecuted.

[13] Read, for example, the interview of President Kagame with the Editor in chief of Jeune Afrique No 2466 of 13 to 19 April 2008.

[14] Filip Reyntjens: “Rwanda Ten Years on: From genocide to dictatorship” (2004). Even if those crimes committed in Kibeho do not fall under the ICTR jurisdiction, they were committed by the RPF military in the presence of UN forces (UNAMIR 2). That incident is sufficiently documented. It shows the impunity granted to RPF members.

[15] See the Communiqué of the Rwandan Bishops Conference, dated 29 May 1995.

[16] Agence Hirondelle of 19 June 2008.


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