The IADL has consistently opposed the transfer of cases from the ICTR to Rwanda on the grounds that a defendant will not receive a fair trial in Rwanda. In late 2011, the ICTR Prosecution requested, under Rule 11bis, that the Uwinkindi case be transferred to Rwanda. Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity under the ICTR Statute.
The IADL filed an amicus curiae brief opposing transfer in March 2011. The IADL brief argues that within the current context of impunity of the RPF government in Rwanda, the rights of an ICTR defendant to present a defence in a fair and public hearing, and to be presumed innocent, are non-existent. Threats to defence teams and potential defence witnesses, and Rwanda’s legislation on “genocide denial” have chilled the rights of the defence. In the case of Uwinkindi, he has already been convicted in the Rwandan government press. Amicus curiae briefs opposing transfer were also filed by Human Rights Watch and the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association.
In a significant departure from previous Trial and Appeals Chamber decisions which rejected transfer requests, the ICTR Trial Chamber granted the Prosecution’s request in June 2011. This legal reversal was based largely on the promises of Rwanda that it had enacted the necessary legal reforms and would be subject to an ICTR supervised monitoring system.
The Appeals Chamber affirmed the decision for transfer in December 2011 and on April 20, 2012, Uwinkindi became the first genocide suspect to be transferred to Rwanda from the ICTR.
Download the IADL Amicus: IADL Amicus ICTR.pdf (1.27 MB)