DIRN: Arrest of Gen. Karake Is a Major Step Toward Justice in Rwanda

– Charges Highlight Rwanda’s Culture of Impunity, Lack of Human Rights

LONDON, June 26, 2015 / PRNewswire – Members of Democracy in Rwanda Now (DIRN), a Rwandan diaspora organization, on Friday praised the recent arrest of Rwanda’s intelligence chief General Karenzi Karake, saying they hope justice will finally be served.

Gen. Karake, arrested at the United Kingdom’s London Heathrow Airport on June 20, is accused of ordering massacres in the wake of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and the killings of Spanish aid workers in 1997. Gen. Karake’s arrest warrant was first issued in 2008. On Thursday, British authorities granted him bail of £1 million ($1.6 million).

Justin Bahunga, a London-based DIRN member, said of the arrest: “The time has finally come for Gen. Karake to face a credible court of law. I am certain that once all the evidence is presented, the truth will come out and justice will be served.”

Added Rene Mugenzi, DIRN’s UK coordinator: “This is welcome news to the victims’ families who have waited for justice for 21 years. I am pleased that British and Spanish judiciary systems have finally acted and hope it sends a strong signal to the Rwandan government about freedom, democracy and human rights.”

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, meanwhile, has criticized the British government for the arrest, telling the Rwandan Parliament on June 25 that the British and Spanish judiciary institutions are “rubbish.” According to the BBC, Kagame also called the arrest a continuation of “colonialism” and accused the British authorities of “arrogance and contempt.”

David Himbara, DIRN’s North America coordinator, stated: “We have complete faith in the British and Spanish judicial systems. The legal process will work its course, Gen. Karake will have his day in court and the world will have the opportunity to judge his guilt or innocence.”

Democracy in Rwanda Now (DIRN) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes democracy, free speech and human rights for Rwandans.

David Himbara
Democracy in Rwanda Now (DIRN)