On the 14th of March 2014, the jury of the Assize Court of Paris, sentenced Mr. Pascal SIMBIKANGWA to 25 years imprisonment for “genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity”. His appeal trial will take place from October 25ft to December 9th and the Bobigny Assize Court.
Mr. Pascal SIMBIKANGWA, who has denied all the allegations made against him, has made an appeal of his conviction ? It’s an opportunity for us to remember that in 1994, in Rwanda, over one million people were exterminated for being Tutsi. This first conviction was more recently followed by the one of Mr. NGENZI and BARAHIRA. These two former mayors of Kabarondo were sentenced, last 16th of July, to life imprisonment. They too have formed an appeal.
These two judicial decisions did not resound the way they should have : the silence of a big number of the media was astounding. This “unimportant genocide” doesn’t interest our fellow citizens ? This is what would have suggested the news director of a national radio. It must be said, on their side, the french political authorities, former and recent, still refuse to recognise the role that had the coalition government at the time in this tragedy that killed men, women, children, elders, babies, all innocent. Had nazis been on trial and sentenced, would we see the same indifference ?
At the Bobigny Assize, Mr. Pascal SIMBIKANGWA, will have to once again be accountable to justice. Will he be able to continue denying all personal responsibility in the extermination of thousands of innocents ? The future will tell. Let us hope, however, that the debates will not stay confined to a room in the Assize Court. Our fellow citizens, but also all citizens worldwide, need to know that a genocide was perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994. They must also know that the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity have found refuge in France where they are to be judged.
The CPCR commits to regularly publish on it’s website reports of the hearings. But this work cannot replace that of the press which also has a duty to inform.
Alain GAUTHIER, président du CPCR
Traduction de Leah TSHABALALA