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Genocide survivors of Rwanda welcome court ruling on doctor

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The umbrella body of genocide survivors’ organizations in Rwanda (IBUKA) on Wednesday welcomed the sentencing of former Rwandan doctor Sosthene Munyemana, who was handed 24-year jail term by a French court for his role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Munyemana, 68, a former gynecologist, earlier Wednesday was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and participation in a conspiracy to prepare the said crimes in southern Rwanda’s Huye District, according to French media.

“We followed the case closely; his conviction and sentencing is welcome news in terms of delivering justice to genocide survivors,” said Philibert Gakwenzire, IBUKA president. “But coming 29 years after the genocide, European nations should reevaluate why justice has been delayed. The justice system in Europe should do its work to avoid delaying justice or extradite suspects to be tried in Rwanda.”

Gakwenzire said, for example, Rwanda has indicted about 50 genocide suspects in France, yet only seven have been prosecuted.

Munyemana worked as a lecturer at the University of Rwanda during the genocide and served as a gynecologist at the University Hospital in Butare in the same area.

Reports indicated Munyemana, who denied the charges during the trial, was immediately arrested after his sentencing by a Paris court, but he has 10 days to appeal against the sentence. His trial started on Nov. 14.

The genocide against Tutsi occurred in 1994 when about 1 million people, mostly of Tutsi ethnic group and moderate Hutus, were killed.

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