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UK/Rwanda: UK High Court decision not to extradite genocide suspects

Following the decision taken by the High Court not to extradite four Rwandan men suspected of genocide and other crimes under international law in Rwanda, Campaigns Director of Amnesty International UK, Tim Hancock said:

“We welcome today’s decision taken by the High Court, but the UK needs to take immediate steps to ensure that the charges against these four men are heard either here, or in another country which would be willing to submit the case for prosecution in a fair trial.”

Amnesty International has called on Rwanda to reform its criminal justice system. Until it does, genocide suspects should not be extradited to Rwanda; rather, countries such as the UK should initiate investigations and prosecutions against people suspected of having committed acts of genocide.

Notes to the Editor

Although nothing in the UK International Criminal Court Act 2001 (2001 ICC Act) for England and Wales expressly prohibits retrospective application of its provisions giving UK courts universal jurisdiction over genocide and war crimes, the UK government has taken the position that it is not retrospective to cover such crimes committed before 2001.

The UK has not yet changed its legislation to enable it to try genocide suspects.

Amnesty International calls on the UK to amend urgently the 2001 ICC Act to permit its courts to exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes such as genocide. In addition, it should initiate criminal investigations against people against whom there is a reasonable suspicion that they committed acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture.

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