Panel 2: Journalism
as Genocide: The Media Trial
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Allan Thompson: Okay,
ladies and gentleman, we' re going to resume with panel number
two. The chairperson for this panel is journalist Thierry
Cruvellier, who has years of experience with the Rwanda file
and knows each of the panelists very well. So Thierry will
take over, and I will slip to the side.
Simone Monasebian (left)
with Charity Kagwi
Thierry Cruvellier: Welcome
back, I' m confused about the language I should use. It's
pretty pleasant to be in Canada, way we can speak French and
English. So maybe I' m going to switch to French for
a change. In November, 1994, a few months after the genocide,
the Security Council at the UN created the International Criminal
Tribunal for Rwanda. In January, 1997, the trial began
in Arusha, in Tanzania. In May, 2000, since we have
to move along quickly in this case, in May, 2000, Georges
Ruggiu, who we referred to a little earlier this morning,
who was the only non-Rwandan journalist at RTLM decided to
plead guilty, and was convicted, and sentenced to 12 years
in prison. But it was a few months later that the main
trial opened dealing with the question at issue to us today,
which is the media trial with Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean-Bosco
Barayagwiza , both of which were members of the initiative
committee, and founders of RTLM, and Hassan Ngeze, who was
the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Kangura. The trial
opened in October, 2000, and ended only in August, 2003.
So this gives you some idea therefore of the issues they tried
to deal with there. And it ended with the conviction
and prison for life for nine members Nahimana, Ngeze, and
35 years also for reasons for procedure for Barayagwiza.
To talk about this trial therefore, we
have panelists here, you have them listed on the program;
Thomas Kamilindi, who has now a rather white beard, so I guess
you can see he' s a veteran therefore of journalism in Rwanda.
Charity Simone also, who was also very active in that trial,
and Jean-Marie Biju Duval, who defended Nahimana, and has
the courage to come and explain his viewpoint here before
a certain number of witnesses, who really did testify against
his client, because Thomas testified. And our last speaker
here is Francois-Xavier Nsanzuweraalso testified in the media
trial. So we' ve also got his biography also.
So the trial today is now before the Court of Appeal.
So it' s not all over yet in legal terms. We have to
remember, and this is explained perhaps why some things were
dealt with by these legal specialists. So I' ve think
we' ve heard a lot. We' ve seen a lot also, and from
the moment we can start to think from a rather critical viewpoint
about this trial, and about some of the questions, which it
raised. I thinking, for example, of two main issues,
which I hope we' ll be able to deal with a little this morning;
the first is to what degree international justice did, in
fact, perform it' s responsibility to judge these individuals.
I think it' s very important therefore to try and look at
the details of this the way in which they tried to actually
perform the mission.
The second problem: what are the consequences
and the questions that judgment delivered? One of the
questions which asks us as journalists, and I draw your attention
to this, because for some of us, there are some concerns when
we read this judgment on the consequences it could have, given
the behaviour of the media. So I hope the members of
the panel therefore will be able to enlighten us to some degree
on this. Thomas you have the floor.