Andrew Mitchell condemns failure of justice which allows alleged perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide to live in the UK.
Mr Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) (Con)
Three years ago, I stood with the wonderful Susan Pollack, the Auschwitz survivor, at the Kigali memorial site in Rwanda, the largest burial ground in the world. We were mourning the million who were slaughtered in a 90-day frenzy of killing and brutality in Rwanda. Most of those who took part have been brought to justice, through either the Arusha international tribunal or the Gacaca courts, which have processed hundreds of thousands who have returned to Rwanda from the hills of the Kivus because they see that the process is decent and fair.
The death penalty in Rwanda has been abolished and most countries—including the United States, Canada, Belgium, Sweden and others—have extradited people back to Rwanda. As John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things”. Living free in Britain today are five alleged Rwandan genocide perpetrators: three were senior Government officials in the 1994 genocidal regime and one of those was allegedly heavily involved in the notorious massacre of 45,000 Tutsis at Murambi—the worst massacre since the second world war.
On 14 September 2006, the British and Rwandan Governments agreed a memorandum of understanding; I first raised this matter in the House on 5 December 2006. Extradition warrants were signed the same month. In 2015, a British district judge ruled that even though there was a prima facie case of genocide made out against the five individuals, it could breach their human rights to send them back to Rwanda, and that ruling was upheld on appeal. The Rwandan judicial authorities have given up on British justice and extradition and requested that Britain undertake prosecution here. The authorities indicated that the collection of evidence already laid out in the court papers and filed in the UK via the war crimes unit would take up to 10 years to process.
These are the facts. Living in this country today, free and at large for more than 14 years now, are five people accused of the most heinous of crimes: genocide participation—crimes against humanity. Four out of five are living at the taxpayer’s expense and more than £3 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent on meeting their legal fees. Is it any wonder that in Africa, and in the UK, too, people accuse the British establishment of hypocrisy? To them, it looks suspiciously as if crimes against white Europeans are taken more seriously than those perpetrated against black Africans.
I call upon all those who care about the holocaust, genocide and justice to take up this cause. The souls of the slaughtered Tutsis cry out for justice, but Britain has turned a deaf ear. We should all be ashamed.