Rwanda: House of Lords Member Calls on UK to Bring to Justice Genocide Fugitives

Lord Stuart Polak, a member of the United Kingdom House of Lords has called on the UK government to bring to book genocide fugitives who are still roaming in the European country.

The MP gave his remarks in a session which sat on Monday, December 7, to review an amendment to a UK Trade Bill.

The Amendment nullifies trade or procurement agreements with countries “If the High Court of England and Wales makes a preliminary determination that they should be revoked on the ground that another signatory to the relevant agreement has committed genocide under Article II of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”.

Addressing the House of Lords, Lord Polak expressed disappointment in regards to how the UK has dealt with genocide perpetrators who are currently given a comfortable stay in the country.

UPDATE: Lord Stuart Polak, member of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords, has reminded the UK Government of the significance of bringing to book Genocide fugitives who have found safe haven in the country. #Kwibuka26 pic.twitter.com/s6blaYNc7S

– The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) December 8, 2020

“No fewer than five alleged Rwandan genocide perpetrators live freely in the UK, and receive full benefits. Yet France, Belgium, … amongst others have extradited those accused to face justice in the Rwanda justice system where the death penalty was abolished over 10 years ago,” he said.

“shockingly, we have not,” he added.

The five indicted genocide suspects who have found safe haven in the United Kingdom are Dr Vincent Bajinya, Célestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo and Célestin Mutabaruka.

They are accused of masterminding the genocide against the Tutsi and the UK justice system has had their indictments for 13 years.

Rwanda has asked for them to either be extradited or tried in the United Kingdom but the latter has kept a deaf ear, paving way for these genocide fugitives to remain free.

Supporting his fellow MP Andrew Mitchell’s call for the UK to do its duty in bringing genocide fugitives to justice, Polak reiterated Mitchell’s previous statements, where he among others quoted him saying that: “The souls of the slaughtered Tutsis cry out for justice, but Britain has turned a deaf ear, we should all be ashamed.”

“I call on the government,” he underscored, to deal with this matter immediately, before the next CHOGM that will be held in Kigali.

The meeting is expected to take place in June next year, after it was postponed mid-this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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