International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda PRESS RELEASE ERSPS-Communication Cluster (non official – for media information only) UNITED NATIONS NATIONS UNIES Arusha, 28 November 2012 Tribunal Organises International Workshop and Hands-Over Case File in Kigali, Rwanda.
Organises International Workshop on Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender Based Violence Crimes • Hands Over ICTR Prosecutor’s Munyarugarama File to Rwanda The Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) hosted a three-day international workshop on the prosecution of sexual and gender based violence crimes. The workshop took place at the Lemigo Hotel in Kigali on 26 to 28 November 2012.
It was made possible with the partnership of UN Women and the generous support of the Open Society Foundations, East African Community, and Republic of Rwanda. The workshop attracted 100 national and international prosecutors, judges, defence counsel, NGOs, and experts in the field. National participants included the following prosecutors and judges from the Great Lakes region: Hon. Sam Rugege, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Republic of Rwanda Hon. Martin Ngoga, Prosecutor General, Republic of Rwanda Hon. Natalia Kimaro, Justice, Court of Appeal, Tanzania Hon. Eliezer Mbuki Feleshi, Director of Public Prosecutions, Tanzania Hon. Njeri Thuku, Actg. Registrar, Supreme Court, Kenya Hon. Keriako Tobiko, Prosecutor General, Kenya Hon. Albert Frank Rugadya-Atwoki, Justice, High Court, Uganda Hon. Emmanuel Jenje, Chief Justice, Burundi. In addition to Prosecutor Hassan B. Jallow, the ICTR was represented by President Vagn Joensen.
Other international participants included Prosecutor Serge Brammertz of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and representatives from the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, International Criminal Court, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and Special Court for Sierra Leone. In his opening remarks, Prosecutor Jallow explained that the goal of the workshop was to share the experiences his office has had in the prosecution of sexual violence cases over the past 18 years. In that time, the ICTR Prosecutors have obtained indictments against 93 individuals who were among those most responsible for the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. More than half of those indictments included charges of sexual violence.
The ICTR has now completed trials in all of these cases. Before the ICTR closes its doors, Prosecutor Jallow stated that it was important to share the lessons that have been learned for the benefit of those who are called upon to prosecute similar cases in the future. In this way, Prosecutor Jallow said he hoped the workshop would be an important contribution to the ICTR’s legacy and ongoing capacity building efforts. In his remarks, the Hon. Sam Rugege, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Rwanda, said that sexual violence was a scourge that has afflicted our societies for ages adding that in many societies even in this age of laws, constitutions and international conventions proclaiming respect for human rights, sexual violence was still pervasive. He pointed out that in Rwanda, various policy, legal, and institutional frameworks had been put in place to fight against sexual violence. All of the participants, he said, would benefit from hearing the ICTR’s experiences in investigating and prosecuting these crimes.
As part of the program, Prosecutor Jallow officially handed over to Prosecutor General Ngoga the prosecution file related to the case: Prosecutor v. Pheneas Munyarugarama. This is the seventh ICTR case referred to Rwanda for trial in the past year. Munyarugarama is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces and, during 1993 and 1994, he was Commander at Gako Camp in Kigali-rural prefecture. Munyarugarama is charged with genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and murder, extermination, rape, and persecution as crimes against humanity. He remains a fugitive.
As part of its referral order, the ICTR issued an international arrest warrant for Munyarugarama’s apprehension and transfer to Rwanda for trial.