The Rwanda Hit List : Revisionism, Denial and the Genocide Conspiracy III
By Keith Harmon Snow
Keith Harmon Snow is a war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010) Project Censored award winner. He is also the 2009 Regent's Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work, outside of academia, contesting official narratives on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide while also working as a genocide investigator for the United Nations and other bodies.
Apologists for the Regime
The London-based 'non-government organization' African Rights was co-founded by Rakiya Omaar, a woman of Somali origin who has worked since 1990-1991 as a paid agent of the RPA/F regime, always casting the Hutus as perpetrators and Tutsis, and especially the RPA/F Tutsi extremists, as the victims of the violence, creating a positive image for the RPA/F.21
African Rights has generated false accusations against Rwandans that have led to their arrest and imprisonment and its 'human rights investigations' have whitewashed the RPA/F terrorism. African Rights has petitioned governments, the ICTR and other legal bodies, even Pope John Paul II, and it spreads disinformation in international media (only to happy to comply), and accused and secured the arrest and prosecution of RPA/F 'dissidents'.22 For example, African Rights helped frame Monsignor Augustin Misago, the Bishop of Gikongoro, who was subsequently arrested and jailed in 1999, but cleared by the Rwandan Court in 2000.23 They have produced disinformation targeting Rwandan opposition in DRC24 (used by ICTR prosecutors25).
A Rwandan agent working for African Rights for the past 8-10 years, first in Kigali and then in Zambia, fled to seek asylum in Belgium in February 2010. Felicien Bahizi recently testified in a court of law (Scandinavia) about African Rights' clandestine ties to the RPA/F, the falsification of documents and allegations used to accuse, indict and imprison 'enemies' of the regime.
An extension of the RPA/F network into the 'human rights' sector, African Rights is on the payroll of the RPA/F government, as evidenced by a letter from Rakiya Omaar requesting payment of an "outstanding $100,159" for their production of a propaganda book benefiting the regime.26 Rakiya Omaar works freely in Rwanda, where she has a special office.
There are other rights bodies and 'experts' on 'genocide in Rwanda' who have protected the killers and criminalized the victims, including the pro-RPA/F International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda Since October 1, 1990, early reports by Africa Watch and Human Rights Watch, and others.27
The 1993 International Commission of Inquiry [ICI] on Rwanda included the Human Rights Watch expert on Rwanda, Alison Des Forges, and Canadian law professor William Schabas, both of whom have provided expert testimony used to convict Rwandans of genocide or related crimes, and both have been discredited in law courts. Schabas has been one of the U.S. government's witnesses of choice for hunting refugees28 and travels free in Rwanda.
William Schabas and French human rights activist Jean Carbonare, both members of the ICI, were amongst the first to apply the term 'genocide' to Rwanda and against the Hutu government of Juvenal Habyarimana.
"On 22 January 1993, in a press statement published in Paris after returning from Kigali [as a member of the ICI], they accused President Habyarimana of having already committed Genocide against the Tutsis under the pretext of the RPF war launched on 1 October 1990. In a television broadcast with Bruno Masure on 28 January 1993, Jean Carbonare was given the opportunity to repeat the accusation to an audience of millions."29
The ICTR has not prosecuted any suspects of the RPA/F, no matter the evidence of crimes, including: the assassinations of the presidents of Rwanda (Juvenal Habyarimana) and Burundi (Cyprien Ntaryamira), their chiefs of staff, several aides, and the French pilots of the Dassault Falcon 50 aircraft (a gift from French President Mitterand) on April 6, 1994, the pivotal event which sparked the 1994 genocide;30 or the massive crimes described in the indictments issued by the judiciaries of France and Spain.31
In December 2008, the Trial Chamber-1 at the ICTR acquitted the four highest-ranking senior military officers of the former government army, the ex-Forces Armee Rwandaise (ex-FAR), including General Theoneste Bagosora (the supposed 'genocide mastermind'), of conspiracy to commit genocide.32
In November, 2009, the Appeals Chambers of the ICTR acquitted Protais Zigiranyirazo, brother-in-law of President Juvenal Habyarimana, of all charges of 'genocide planning', following seven years of trial at the ICTR, where the court found that the Prosecutor's evidence was explained by normal military planning in the course of the four year Rwandan civil war (1990-1994).
In November, 2009, the Appeals Chambers of the ICTR acquitted, and ordered the immediate release of, Hormistas Nsengimana, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda in 1994.
The above ICTR judgments destroy the 'conspiracy to commit genocide' conspiracy universally charged to the former Hutu government and responsible for the total dehumanization of Hutu people everywhere.
Kagame's comrades at the US Army's Fort Levenworth, Kansas, 1990.
The current regime in Rwanda is aggressively hunting down any perceived threat, including dissidents, refugees, political opposition, former soldiers of the Habyarimana government (ex-FAR) and former RPF/A, regardless of ethnicity.
Goucher College (Md.) professor Dr. Leopold Munyakazi is one of their latest targets, falsely accused of being a genocidaire merely because he has been an outspoken critic of the regime. Dr. Munyakazi was unjustly framed--in support of the RPA/F agenda to neutralize him--by a short-lived NBC News television program that sought to gain high prime time ratings (read: corporate profits) by tracking down and 'exposing' supposed genocidaires. The program was titled THE WANTED, and the morality of 'good versus evil' was subliminally underscored by the choice of the show's commentator, Scott Tyler, an ex-Navy Seal, who by moral implication embodies saintliness, while the wanted man, Dr. Leopold Munyakazi, embodies the devil. The zealous NBC News team acted as accuser, judge and jury against Dr. Munyakazi.33
The U.S. Embassy in Kigali allegedly assisted the criminal RPA/F regime in framing Dr. Munyakazi and, from August to December 2009, the U.S. Embassy collaborated in the RPA/F campaign of intimidation, bribery, detention and punishment of hundreds of people acquainted with Dr. Munyakazi, in order to fabricate evidence and coerce witnesses against him.
At Goucher College "a swirling retinue of about ten cameramen, technicians, and professional interrogators" descended on Dr. Munyakazi as he finished teaching a French class.34 Leading the pack was NBC Producer Adam Ciralsky: when contacted by other journalists, Ciralsky hid behind NBC's corporate PR department.35 Prejudged by journalists and mass media, whether acting overzealously or in collaboration with the RPA/F regime, Rwanda's critics, refugees and survivors have been falsely accused and, through the mass media, publicly branded as genocidaires.
Just as the NBC News television team targeted Dr. Leopold Munyakazi at Goucher College in February 2009, mass media sensationalism and genocidaire branding to advance the criminal aims of the GOR has been used before.
In Laredo, Texas in 1998, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a Hutu pastor, was accosted by New Yorker magazine writer Philip Gourevitch, an RPA/F supporter and personal friend of Paul Kagame, whose book was one of the earliest propaganda tracts espousing the now entrenched narrative about Hutus (killers) v. Tutsis (victims) and the so-called '100 days of genocide' in Rwanda.36 Ntakirutimana was extradited, tried and cionvicted by the ICTR; his story--sensationalized and fictionalized by Philip Gourevitch--was published in the award-winning non-fiction' book whose title takes it's name from a letter written by Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, but one which Gourevitch misconstrued and criminalized.37
More of Philip Gourevitch's pro-RPF propaganda in the The New Yorker ("The Life After," 4 May 2009) manufactures concepts of justice, if problematic, at so-called "community-based" Gacaca tribunals in Rwandan villages. Gourevitch is cranking out one-sided propaganda: see, e.g., The New Yorker: "The Arrest of Madame Agathe," March 2, 2010, and "The Mutsinzi report on the Rwandan Genocide," January 8, 2010.
The British Broadcasting Corporation in 2006 publicly branded as genocidaire Dr. Vincent Bajinya, a Hutu physician and U.K. citizen who lived and worked in London for years. Similar to the NBC camera crew's unannounced confrontation with Dr. Leopold Munyakazi in Maryland, without any appointment or prior warning, a BBC team showed up on the street in London and shoved a television camera in Dr. Bajinya's face and began interrogating him about his alleged role as a 'mastermind' of the Rwandan Genocide.38
Within days of the first BBC report, the Dr. Vincent Bajinya story was everywhere in the news and was combined with defamatory stories branding three other Rwandan refugees (Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, and Celestin Ugirashebuja) supposedly 'hiding' in the U.K. The BBC framed all four refugees as 'Most Wanted' criminals and 'masterminds' of 'genocide in Rwanda in 1994'. After confronting Bajinya in London the BBC team traveled to Rwanda and, escorted by GOR agents, filmed the places and people who testified on camera to the alleged crimes.
The four Rwandans were jailed for 28 months and the case was supported by RPA/F intelligence agent Jean Bosco Mutangana, the head of Rwanda's genocide fugitives tracking unit, who also turned up with the NBC News crew and confronted the President of Goucher College (MD) and Dr. Leopold Munyakazi.39
The City of Westminster Magistrates' Court ordered the extradition of all four Rwandans but an appeals court on April 8, 2009, ruled that there was no freedom or justice in Rwanda ordered their release.40, 41
To be continued.
21 See, e.g., Rakiya Omaar, The Leadership of Rwandan Armed Groups Abroad With a Focus on the FDLR and RUD-URUNANA, December 2008: p. 8.
22 See, e.g.:  Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, Death, Despair and Defiance, African Rights, November 1994;  Rakiya Omaar, Rwanda: Insurgency in the Northwest, African Rights, 1998;  Rakiya Omaar, Letter to Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc, President of the United Nations Security Council, African Rights, October 19, 2005;  Rakiya Omaar, An Open Letter to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, African Rights, May 13, 1998.
23 See, e.g., An Open Letter to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, African Rights, May 13, 1998.
24 African Rights, A Welcome Expression of Intent: The Nairobi Communique and the Ex-FAR/Interahamwe, December 2007.
25 International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, Minutes of Proceedings, Hategekimana: ICTR-00-55-T, July 1, 2009.
26 See: Delivery of the Murambi Book and African Rights outstanding $100,159, Letters from the GOR's National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide to Rakiya Omaar, Director of African Rights, dated June 6, 2008, and June 22, 2008, stamped with an official seal, and copied to H.E. The President of the Republic, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, The Minister of Sports and Culture, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (Kigali).
27 See, e.g., Report of the International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda Since October 1, 1990, Final Report, Federation Internationale Des Droits de L'Homme (FIDH) (Paris), Africa Watch (New York, Washington, London), Union Interafricaine Des Droits de L'Homme et des Peuples (UIDH)(Ouagadougou), Centre Internationale des Droits De La Personne et du Developpement Democratique (CIDPDD/ICHRDD) (Montreal), March, 1993. Notable members of this Commission included Alison Des Forges and William Schabas.
28 See, e.g., Munyaneza & Ors v. Government of Rwanda, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, April 8, 2009; and Dr. Helmut Strizek, The Influence of the International Background on the Creation of the International Tribunal for Rwanda: An Historian's View, October 24, 2009.
29 Dr. Helmut Strizek, The Influence of the International Background on the Creation of the International Tribunal for Rwanda: An Historian's View, October 24, 2009.
30 French indictment Judge Bruguiere, November 2006.
31 Spanish Indictment (Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles), February 2008.
32 Prosecutor v. Bagosora, 98-41-T, Judgment of 12/18/08, published in full February 9, 2009 (http://www.ictr.org/).
33 While the article and the framework for the article are in many ways flawed, displaying the same tendencies toward a priori assumptions of guilt, please see, e.g.: Andrew Rice, "Doubt: A Professor, A Genocide, and NBC's Quest for a Prime Time Hit," The New Republic, August 12, 2009.
34 Andrew Rice, "Doubt: A Professor, A Genocide, and NBC's Quest for a Prime Time Hit," The New Republic, August 12, 2009.
35 Jack Shafer, "To Catch a War Criminal? Why is NBC Being so Cagey about it's New Series?" Slate, February 10, 2009.
36 Notably, a U.S. immigration judge in St. Paul Minnesota imposed Gourevitch's book as compulsory reading for all attorneys dealing with Rwandan refugees requesting political asylum. Similarly, the International human Rights Law Clinic at American University for several years (at least) asked students to read Philip Gourevitch on genocide in Rwanda, in preparation for legal work with the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda. Professor Melissa Crow, who worked with the Law Clinic, followed her term at Human Rights Watch (1994-1995) working for the Office of the ICTR Prosecutor from Kigali, Rwanda, under the RPA/F regime.
37 Philip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1998.
38 Fergal Keane, "Rwanda Genocide Suspect in UK" and Fergal Keane, "Rwanda Suspect Worked at UK Trust," BBC News, November 6, 2006.
39 The Government of the Republic of Rwanda v. Vincent Bajinya, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, and Celestin Ugirashebuja, Decision by Anthony Evans, Designated District Judge, June 6, 2008.
40 Munyaneza & Ors v. Government of Rwanda, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, April 8, 2009.
41 The BBC article reporting their release was highly biased, citing, for example, how the Rwandan "president died in a plane crash," and not an act of terrorism--being the double presidential assassinations--and another example of language used to skew perceptions about violence, victims, and killers in Rwanda. See: Unsigned, "Rwanda Accused Win UK Court Case," BBC News, April 8, 2009.
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