Rwanda: The Convicted

The community tribunals known as Gacaca formally ended in 2012 with over 400,000 murder cases judged. Sentences for those who confessed their crimes were relatively brief, ten years on average. Defendants who did not confess and were convicted faced maximum sentences of thirty years.

AIRED: 3/28/2017 | 00:02:07
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20 years after the genocide, Rwanda's prisons are no longer teeming with suspects and detainees.

The prisoners at Huye Prison in southern province have all been convicted in traditional courts or in gacaca forums.

They are orderly and obedient most have accepted the punishment or have been defeated by it.

For me telling the truth was not a privilege because I was condemned for being truthful.

Even though I was with the gang leader, I did not harm anyone and I was persecuted simply for being near by the scene.

Ntigurirwa has been here since 2002. He's from Taba commune and was convicted of taking part in the slaughter of Tutsis alongside his neighbor, Gasumari.

Unlike Gasumari, he did not admit his crimes at gacaca.

He did not ask forgiveness of his victims or the survivors.

He's asserted his innocence in the face of multiple accusations.

He was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

It was very hard to see people being thrown in a pit and killed but I was not in a position to help them or to stop the killing.

I couldn't do anything.

So i just watched and walked away.

There were many false accusations against me at gacaca.

The victims wanted a kind of payback so they prepared some false accusations.

That's how I was convicted and ended up in prison.

There are a lot of people falsely accused in this prison.

Certainly I have a negative impression of gacaca because it did not serve me well.

Gacaca proceedings formally ended in 2012 with over 400,000 murder cases judged.