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72nd anniversary of the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide marked with call for the fight against genocide ideology and related crimes

 

As the 72nd anniversary of the international convention on prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, adopted on 9th December 1948 is marked, people have been called on the fight against genocide ideology and related crimes.   

This international convention on prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide was adopted by Resolution 260A (III) of the UN General Assembly of 9th December 1948 and came into force on 12th January 1951. Currently, 152 countries are signatory of this convention which determines the characteristics of the crime of genocide.

 In commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of this convention, which is celebrated yearly on 9th December, the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) in partnership with the Anti-Genocide Parliamentary Forum (AGPF) organizes lectures in Higher learning institutions across the country. It is in this regards that on 9th December 2020, students and staffers in both public and private higher learning institutions across the country discussed strategies on fighting against genocide, genocide denial and genocide ideology.

Students who participated in the discussions in different universities and colleges   proposed relevant ideas aimed to fight genocide ideology and genocide denial including approaching and talking to parents who still preach indirectly to their children about genocide and hatred; approaching and talking to the youth who have genocide ideology; as well as inviting Rwandans abroad who do not know their country to come and visit the place of their origin.

According to the Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group ; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;   imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and  forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

 The crime of genocide is characterized by two elements. The first thing is the intention to kill in whole or in part members of the targeted group. The second is the category of the victims or the reason for killing them.

Article 4 of the law Nº 59/2018 of 22/8/2018 on the crime of genocide ideology and related crimes stipulates that a person who, in public, either verbally, in writing, through images or in any other manner, commits an act that manifests an ideology that supports or advocates for destroying, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, commits an offence. Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five (5) years and not more than seven (7) years, with a fine of not less than five hundred thousand Rwandan francs ( FRW 500,000) and not more than one million Rwandan francs (FRW 1,000,000).

 The law also stipulates that the Crimes related to genocide ideology include denial of genocide, minimization of genocide, justification of genocide, disposing of or degrading evidence or information relating to genocide, stealing or destroying bodies of the victims of genocide, demolishing, damaging or desecrating a memorial site or a place where bodies of the victims of genocide are laid to rest and violence against a survivor of genocide