Le Monde in France on the 13.03.17, News.am in Armenia on the 29.03.2017, Dnevnik in Macedonia on the 29.03.2107, Aravot in Armenia on the 31.03.17, Le Soir in Belgium on the 05.04.17, Sega in Bulgaria on the 05.04.17, La Tribune de Genève in Switzerland on the 06.04.2017, El Pais in Spain on the 07.04.17, TAZ in Germany on 07.04.2017, Jyllands Posten in Denmark on 07.04.2017, Le Devoir in Canada on 08.04.2017, Cyprus Mail in Cyprus on 09.04.2017.
Several tens of Rwandan “key genocide perpetrators” live in Europe, particularly in France. Too often they live in total impunity, without being troubled by justice.
Over the course of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, they have not only plundered, tortured, raped and massacred, but also planned, recruited, taught and organised.
These are not “little helping hands” of the genocide; they are amongst its main responsibles. A number of them are subject to international arrest warrants or have already been convicted for genocide or complicity in genocide by the Rwandan justice system.
For more than twenty years, the Catholic Church, which assisted in their absconding, has been protecting several perpetrators. Sometimes it hides them, sometimes it appoints these non-repenting killers as priests, in particular in the parishes of French towns and villages.
For more than twenty years, the majority of key genocide perpetrators have been living in France without being troubled by justice. They are not there by chance: it was the French army that exfiltrated and covered the escape of those who had just organised and perpetrated the extermination of more than one million Tutsis in 1994. This was one of the key moments of the policy of collaboration with the genocidal regime in Rwanda, which started before and continued throughout and after the genocide. This policy was led by politicians from both the right and the left, at that time placed at the highest levels of the French state apparatus.
The impunity that protects the key Rwandan genocide perpetrators and those who have collaborated with them is today the last obstacle to the full implementation of justice in this genocide.
As a matter of fact, due to the exceptional and unprecedented efforts of the Rwandan population and institutions since 1994, several hundreds of thousands of murderers have been judged in the “gaçaças” the jurisdictions of the villages, and the tribunals of the country. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has judged some of the perpetrators of the highest ranks.
This lasting impunity constitutes for the survivors an additional suffering. For the youth of Rwanda and Europe, an obstacle in their projection towards a shared future. For all, an inexcusable injustice and a scandalous infringement of the rule of law.
Our demand is simple: an end to impunity for genocide perpetrators and their accomplices.
In respecting rigorously the separation of powers, fundamental for democracy which we cherish, all governments must elaborate and effectively apply a criminal law policy. It is high time that all countries implicated, first and foremost France, put the prosecution, the extradition to Rwanda or the judgement in their place of residence of genocide perpetrators and their accomplices at the heart of the priorities of this criminal law policy, so that justice is finally served.
It is imperative to consider the end of impunity for genocide perpetrators and their accomplices for what it is: a moral, human, social, political, historical and therefore judicial urgency.
This is the responsibility of our generation to ensure that they are judged, in order to offer to the next generations the possibility to create together an “imbere heza”, a “good future”.
Benjamin Abtan, President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM, Coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network of Parliamentarians of Europe for the Prevention of Mass Atrocities and Genocide and against Genocide Denial, Bernard Kouchner, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Founder of Doctors Without Borders and Doctors of the World (France), Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, Presidents of Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France (Germany and France), John Hume, Nobel Peace Prize (Ireland), Patrick De Saint-Exupéry, Author & Journalist (France), Hayk Demoyan, Director of Armenian Genocide Museum Institute (Armenia), Marie Darrieussecq, Novelist (France), Olivier Camarade Mazimpaka and Beatrice Uwera, President and Vice-President of the Group of Former Students Survivors of the Genocide – GAERG (Rwanda), Guillaume Ancel, Former lieutenant-colonel of the French Army & Author of ‘Vents Sombres sur le lac Kivu’ (France), Munira Subasic, Spokesperson of Mothers of Srebrenica (Bosnia & Herzegovina), C215, Street artist (France), Jul, Designer (France), Ayo Obe, President of the administrative council of the Gorée Institute in Senegal (Senegal), Emmanuel Twahirwa, National Coordinator of the Association of the Pupils and Students Survivors of the Genocide – AERG (Rwanda), Olivier Py, Stage director of the Festival d’Avignon (France), Efraim Zuroff, Director of Simon Wiesenthal Center (Israel), Prof. Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu and Egide Nkuranga, President and Vice President of IBUKA (Collective grouping of Associations of survivors of the Tutsi genocide) (Rwanda), Richard Prasquier, Vice-President of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (France),
Boubacar Boris Diop, Writer (Senegal), Fatou Harerimana, Vice President of the Senate (Rwanda), Louis Michel, Member of European Parliament, former Belgian Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs, former European Commissioner (Belgique), Julienne Uwacu, Minister of Sport and Culture (Rwanda), Frank Engel, Member of the European Parliament (Luxembourg), Ara Toranian and Franck Papazian, Co-Presidents of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France (France), Gerard Biard, Chief Editor of Charlie Hebdo (France), Patrice Leclerc, Mayor of Gennevilliers (France), Nadia Gortzounian, President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union – AGBU Europe (France), Dominique Sopo, President of SOS Racisme (France), Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain (Spain), Jonathan Littell, Writer & Filmmaker (United States/France), Sonia Rolland, Director, Actress (France, Rwanda), Hervé Feron, Member of Parliament (France), Mona Eltahawy, Author & Feminist Activist (Egypt), Benjamin Lucas, President of the Young Socialists (France), Danis Tanovic, Filmmaker (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Noël Mamère, Member of Parliament (France), Juliette Chilowicz, Spokesperson of the Independent and Democratic Federation of High school Students – FIDL (France), Clara Jaboulay, President of the National Union of High School Pupils – UNL (France), Meyer Habib, Member of Parliament (France), Barbara Mulvaney, Former Senior Trial Attorney, United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (United States), Eren Keskin, Vice-President of the Human Rights Organisation IHD (Turkey), Bruno Julliard, First Deputy Mayor of Paris (France), Danielle Auroi, Member of Parliament (France), Deborah Lipstadt, Historian & Author (United States), Flemming Rose, Journalist & Writer (Denmark), Kalisa Evariste, Member of the Parliament (Rwanda), Mohamed Sifaoui, Journalist and Writer (France), Klaus Buchner, Member of the European Parliament (Germany), Christine Priotto, Mayor of Dieulefit (France), Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, Member of Parliament (Switzerland), Oriane Pigache–Le Bec & Benjamin Kaufmann, Federal Secretaries of the Young Ecologists (France), John Mann, Member of Parliament (UK), Advija Ibrahimovic, Spokesperson of Women of Srebrenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Zineb El Rhazoui, Journalist and Writer (France), Annette Wieviorka, Historian (France), Cécile Duflot, Member of Parliament (France), Aurélien Sebton, President of the Young Union of Democrats and Independents – UDI (France), Yanis Mallion, President of the Young Radicals of the Left (France), Damien Abad, Member of Parliament (France), Pakrat Estukyan, Journalist, Chief Editor of Agos (Turkey), Michel Billout, Senator of Seine-et-Marne (France), Yves Ternon, Historian (France), Camille Lainé, Secretary General of the French Young Communist Movement (France), Josef Weidenholzer, Member of the European Parliament (Austria), Benjamin Stora, Historian and President of the Museum of History of Immigration (France), Lilâ Le Bas, President of UNEF (France), Annette Levy-Willard, Journalist, Writer, former Diplomat (France), Henri Gutman, President of the Secular Jewish Cultural Center (Belgium), Milorad Pupovac, Member of Parliament (Croatia), Louis-Georges Tin, President of CRAN (France), Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson at Greek Helsinki Monitor (Greece), Peter Meiwald, Member of Parliament (Germany), Fadela Amara, Founder of the Movement ‘Ni Putes Ni Soumises’ & Former Secretary of State (France), Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, Director of the Association of French Victims of the Terrorism (France), François Rochebloine, Member of Parliament (France), Ariel Goldmann, President of Fondation du Judaïsme Français (France), Alessia Maria Mosca, Member of European Parliament (Italy), Anita Mitić, Executive Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Serbia (Serbia), Gino Strada, Executive Director at Emergency (Italy), Ara Sarafian, Historian at the Gomidas Institute of London (United Kingdom), Michael Danby, Member of Parliament (Australia), Alma Mašić, Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Michèle Rivasi, Member of the European Parliament (France), Mario Mažić, Director of Programs at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Croatia (Croatia), Cengiz Aktar, Professor of Political Sciences (Turkey), Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, Member of Parliament (Poland), Aet Kukk, CEO of the Estonian Institute of Human Rights (Estonia), Gilles Hertzog, Author (France), Boris Raonić, President of the Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Philippe Kaltenbach, Senator (France), Anhelita Kamenska, Director of the Latvian Center for Human Rights (Latvia), Hovig Eordekian, Deputy Director of AGBU (Armenia), Brando Benifei, Member of the European Parliament (Italy), Angela Scalzo, Secretary General of SOS Razzismo (Italy), Laura Slimani, President of the Young European Socialists (France), José Inácio Faria, Member of the European Parliament (Portugal), Sonia Avakian-Bedrossian, Chairperson of AGBU Sofia (Bulgaria), Haik Garabedian, Board Member of AGBU Europe (Armenia), Javi López, Member of the European Parliament (Spain), Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, Advisor for the City of Paris, Regional Advisor the for Île-de-France Region (France), Ana Gomes, Member of the European Parliament (Portugal), Harout Palanjian, Chairman at AGBU Holland (the Netherlands), Krassimir Kanev, Chairperson of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgaria), Muhamet Arifi, Director of Balkan Sunflowers (Kosovo), Caroline Spelman, Member of Parliament (UK), Reza Golami, President of Association of Afghans United in Greece (Greece), Rada Sesic, Programme Selector of Sarajevo Film Festival (the Netherlands), Barbara Romagnan, Member of Parliament (France), Judith Aquien, Co-founder of the Thot School (France), Levent Sensever, Spokesperson of DurDe (Turkey), Joël Labbé, Member of Parliament (France), Paula Sawicka, Magda Czyz and Elżbieta Petrajtis-O’Neill, Chairwoman, Vice-President and Member of board of the Open Republic Association (Poland), Dennis Gratz, Member of Parliament (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Miroslav Broz, Spokesperson of Konexe (Czech Republic), Aldo Merkoci, Spokesperson of Mjaft! (Albania), Jean-Jacques Candelier, Member of Parliament (France), Marian Mandache, Executive director of Romani Criss (Romania), Fadila Mehal, Advisor for the City of Paris (France), Joël Giraud, Member of Parliament (France), Witold Klaus, Director at Association for Legal Intervention (Poland), Osman Kavala, Chair of Anadolu Kultur (Turkey), Julie Ward, Member of the European Parliament (UK), Moawia Ahmed, President of the Greek Forum of Migrants (Greece), Ismaël Muhikira, Genocide Survivor (Rwanda), Soraya Post, Member of the European Parliament (Sweden), Ramazan Özbek, Vice-Chair of the Democratic Regions Party – DBP (Turkey), Annette Becker, Historian (France), Barbara Spinelli, Member of the European Parliament (Italy), Nil Mutluer, Academic & Activist (Turkey), Konstantinos Tsitselikis, President of the Greek League for Human Rights (Greece), Andrew Mitchell, Member of Parliament (UK), Haykak Arshamyan, Historian (Armenia), Edin Koljenovic, Program Coordinator of Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Jean-Louis Roumégas, Member of Parliament (France), Sayat Tekir and Norayr Olgar, Spokespersons of Nor Zartonk (Turkey), Oliviero Toscani, Photographer (Italy), Thomas Pringle, Member of Parliament (Ireland), Baskin Oran, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Ankara University (Turkey), Marcel Courthiade, Professor of the National Institute of Oriental Languages (France), Boris Zala, Member of the European Parliament (Slovakia), Hélène Bidard, Assistant of the Mayor of Paris in charge of gender equality, the fight against discrimination and human rights (France), André Sirota, Professor at Paris Nanterre University (France), Monica Macovei, Member of the European Parliament (Romania), Darius Gishoma, Professor at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Rwanda (Rwanda), Nathalie Griesbeck, Member of the European Parliament (France), William Bourdon, French lawyer of the Paris Bar Association (France), Marie-Odile Godard, Psychoanalyst (France), Marie-Christine Blandin, Member of Parliament (France), Yannick Piquet, President of the Brussels Federation of Young Socialists (Belgium), Rafal Pankowski, Co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association (Poland), Nikolaj Villumsen, Member of Parliament (Denmark), Pernille Skipper, Member of Parliament (Denmark), Maria Reumert Gjerding, Member of Parliament (Denmark), ), Alain Intwaza, Former Vice President of GAERG (Rwanda), Maxime Felon, President of the Movement of the Young Socialists (Belgium), Saša Magazinović, Member of Parliament (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Maxim Efimov, Human rights activist, Social Philosopher, Writer, Civil Journalist (Russia), Nicolas Moll, Historian (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Ivo Vajgl, Member of the European Parliament (Slovenia), Délia and Alexandre Romanès, Directors of the Romanès Circus Tzigane and the Gypsy Artistic Center Tzigane Tchiriclif (France), Pernille Sivertsen, President of Queer Youth Norway (Norway), Isabelle Attard, Member of Parliament (France), Alain Grabarz, Spokesperson of Hachomer Hatzaïr (France), Elmas Arus, Chairwoman of the Zero Discrimination Roma Association (Turkey), Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament (Germany), Jean-Marie Heydt, President of the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) of the Council of Europe (France), Alain Lempereur, Professor at University of Brandeis (US), Cornelia Ernst, Member of the European Parliament (Germany), Brigitte Stora, Author & Journalist (France), Nicolae Radita, President of the National Roma Center (Moldova), Christophe Cavard, Member of Parliament (France), Urša Raukar, Comedian (Croatia), Natalia Mardari, Coordinator of the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (Moldova), Stelios Kouloglou, Member of the European Parliament (Greece), Charles Habonimana, Human Rights Activist & Former President of GAERG Rwanda (Rwanda), Merja Kyllönen, Member of the European Parliament (Finland), Nadina Christopoulou, Co-founder & Coordinator of Melissa Network (Greece), Sîmranjit Singh, Président de Shiromani Akali Dal (India), Graham Jones, Member of Parliament (UK), Claire Nyirashema (Rwanda), Margareta Matache, Activist and Teacher at Harvard University (Romania), Joan Comorera Estarellas, Member of Parliament (Spain), Doros Polykarpou, Executive Director of KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism (Cyprus), Anne Marie Revcolevschi, President of Project Aladin (France), Sergio Coronado, Member of Parliament (France), Pastor René Léonian, President of the Union of Armenian Protestant Churches of Eurasia (Armenia), Ladan Boroumand, President of the Boroumand Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran (Iran), Philippe Noguès, Member of Parliament (France), Michel Campion, Activist (Rwanda), Léo Cogos, Spokesperson for ‘Saut Jeune’ (France), Guy Konopnicki, Writer and Journalist (France), Liliana Rodrigues, Member of the European Parliament (Portugal), Prune Antoine, Journalist (France), Radwan Ziadeh, Director of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies in Syria (Syria), Maino Marchi, Member of Parliament (Italy), Ofer Bronchtein, President of the International Forum for Peace (France), Maria De França, Chief Editor for ‘La Règle du jeu’ (France), Aminata Niakate, President of the Union of Young Lawyers in Paris (France), Franklin van Kappen, Member of Senate (the Netherlands), Marek Halter, Writer (France), Sihem Habchi, Director of Emergency Accommodation Centers & Former President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises (France), Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament (Slovenia), Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, Feminist & Human Rights Activist (Morocco), Jean Paul Kabera, Commissioner in charge of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation at GAERG (Rwanda), Michèle Bonneton, Member of Parliament (France), Jordi Guixé, Director of the European Observatory on Memories (Spain), Ahmet Insel, Professor at Galatasaray University, Author (Turkey), Bodil Valero, Member of the European Parliament (Sweden), Marko Stenroos, Chairperson of Nevo Roma (Finland), Pascal Blanchard, Historian (France), Christophe Premat, Member of Parliament (France), Metha Matkhao, Spokesperson of the Social Democracy Movement (Thailand), Louis de Gonzague Munyazogeye, Member of the Rwandan Community (Switzerland), Costas Mavrides, Member of the European Parliament (Cyprus), Alain Eugène Daumas, President of the French Union of Gipsy Associations (France), Lucien Kemkeng, President of Cercle de la Diversité (CDR) (France), Vannino Chiti, Member of Parliament (Italy), Sandra Vokk, CEO of the Unitas Foundation (Estonia), Bruce Clarke, Artist (France), Graham Brady, Member of Parliament (UK), Catherine Coquio, Professor at Université Paris Diderot and President of the International Association for Research on Crimes against Humanity and Genocide (Aircrige) (France), Charles Enderlin, Journalist (France), Enrique Guerrero, Member of the European Parliament (Spain), Roberto Romero, Regional Counsellor for Ile-de-France (France), Michel Kichka, Professor of Fine Arts, Bezalel Academy and Member of Cartooning for Peace (Israel), Bart Staes, Member of the European Parliament (Belgium), Andrea Härle, Director of Romano Centro (Austria), Movimento Identità Transessuale (Italy), Matt Carthy, Member of the European Parliament (Ireland), Maria Rubia, Spokesperson of the Intercultural Association Nakeramos (Spain), Élie Chouraqui, Filmmaker (France), Gea Schirò, Member of Parliament (Italy), Anush Ghazaryan, Project Coordinator at Regional Studies Center (Armenia), Ahmed Samih, Director of Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies (AITAS) (Egypt), Tim Guldimann, Member of Parliament (Switzerland), Thierry Sebaganwa, Genocide Survivor (Rwanda), Peio Aierbe, Spokesperson of SOS Racismo (Spain), Mara Valdinosi, Senator (Italy), Yonous Muhammadi, President of Greek Forum of Refugees (Greece), Ali Bayramoglu, Writer (Turkey), Martina Anderson, Member of the European Parliament (Ireland), Géraldine Schwarz, Journalist and Author (Germany), Jean-Claude Guiraud, Author (France), Damir Masic, Member of Parliament (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Annabel Carballo Mesa, Coordinator of FAGIC (Spain), Adriatik Hasantari, Director of Roma Active Albania (Albania), Alban Perrin, Lecturer at Sciences Po Bordeaux (France), Caroline Hill, Chair of Young Labour (UK), Luzenir Caixeta, Coordinator of Maiz Research (Austria), Ayse Gunaysu, Member of the Human Rights Association – IHD (Turkey), Gasana Ndoba, Founding President of Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR) (Rwanda), Josef Zissels, Executive Co-President of Vaad (Ukraine), Avtandil Mikaberidze, Director of the Georgian Institute of Athens & President of the Cultural Centre ‘Caucasus’ in Athens (Greece), Emile Kagambage, Survivor of the Genocide Against the Tutsis (Rwanda), Macha Fogel, Author (France), Marie-Arlette Carlotti, Former member of the European Parliament (France), Wiktor Shmeruk, President of the Warsaw Peace Research Institute (Poland), Michał Nadziak, Member of the Warsaw Peace Research Institute (Poland), Deyan Kolev, Chairman of Center Amalipe (Bulgaria), Martin Holler, MA of History (Germany), Victoria Apostol, Activist (Moldova), Mbabazi Venuste, Member of Youth for Peace and Development (Rwanda), Umutesi Kayitana (Rwanda), Tetiana Mahdych, Software Engineer (Germany), Luís Sottomaior Braga, Teacher (Portugal), John Heffernan, Activist (US), Mirdikian Stéphane, Lawyer (Belgium), Vazgen Karapetyan (Armenia), Asante, Greek NGO (Greece), Chiara Marcella Polcaro, Researcher at the Italian National Research Council (Italy)
"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan