Human Rights Award 2003
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
In 1994, over a few weeks, 800,000 people fell victim to genocide in Rwanda - in front of the whole world. Following the grave violations of human rights, the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda was set up by the UN Security Council under resolution no. 955 of November 8th, 1994, pursuant to chapter VII of the UN-Charter. The Security Council decided to locate the Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania. The Tribunal is to bring to justice those individuals who committed acts of genocide and other severe violations of human rights during the period from January 1st to December 31st, 1994. It also applies also Rwandan citizens who committed such crimes in the neighbouring countries of Rwanda.
Some impressions of the award
With this Human Rights Award, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung honours the International Tribunal for Rwanda, which contributes to national reconciliation and to the preservation and re-establishment of peace in the region.
In this legal limbo, the Tribunal must represent the rules of law and criminal jurisdiction. The Tribunal is contributing to the implementation of humanitarian laws of nations and to the development of the International Criminal Law.
In the criminal court of Arusha, three Chambers with 16 judges together deal with genocide, crimes against humanity and other crimes that have been committed by Rwandan people on Rwandan territory. When the Tribunal began its work in 1995, it was not able to cope with the situation in terms of manpower as well as logistically. There were no court rooms and almost no technical equipment. Nonetheless, the first charge was been presented in November 1995. The difficult working conditions that the judges of the Tribunal encountered during the foundation have since improved. Today, there are three court rooms and more than 900 employees working for the Tribunal. Right now, trials of 60 people are either already concluded or still pending (status from May 15th, 2007). One of those sentenced is Jean Kambandas, former Prime Minister of Rwanda. Currently, eight accused are awaiting the start of the court proceedings. The Tribunal plans to have concluded the trials of 65-70 people by the end of 2008.
Publications Brochure on the Human Rights Award 2003 (German) Links to Publications Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide Report of the Committee to investigate genocide in Rwanda and the failure of intervention, provided by the former organisation of African Unity (today: African Union) Reconciliation in Post-genocide Rwanda By Eugenia Zorbas, in: African Journal of Legal Studies. Jahrgang 1, Nr. 1 (2004) Explaining the 1994 genocide in Rwanda By Helen M. Hintjens, in: Journal of Modern African Studies. Jahrgang 37, Nr. 2 (1999), pp. 241-286 Sub-Sahara Africa: The Rediscovery of a Continent. Ulrich Golaszinski - Berlin: FES Department of Development Policy, 2007 Links Website of the International Tribunal for Rwanda Website „Institut für Diaspora- und Genozidforschung“, Ruhr-Uni-Bochum (German) Website of the ‚Genocide Studies Program’ at Yale University Website of the FES Department for Africa (German)