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30 August 2013 - Media release

ICTR Prosecutor recognizes INTERPOL for investigative support in apprehending Rwandan genocide fugitives

LYON, France – The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has commended INTERPOL for its ongoing and critical role in the location and apprehension of fugitives wanted in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Following the recent release of a manual on ‘The Tracking and Arrest of Fugitives from International Criminal Justice: Lessons from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’, the ICTR applauded INTERPOL for the investigative support it continues to offer to the authorities who are tracking down the remaining fugitives.

ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow highlighted the important roles played by a variety of entities and member countries in helping to bring Rwandan genocide fugitives to justice.

In particular, he recognized "the achievements of the Tribunal’s tracking operations, including its trackers for their dedication in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions; INTERPOL for its investigative support," and other organizations for their valuable assistance.

Since 2001, INTERPOL has issued 23 Red Notices for internationally wanted persons at the request of the ICTR, with its Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit directly supporting the arrest of nine individuals wanted by the tribunal for genocide-related crimes.

Among those arrested with INTERPOL’s support were Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, a government official in the Gisagara district who organized the massacre of Tutsis from his district who was arrested in France in 2007; Callixte Nzabonimana, the Minister of Youth and a suspected mastermind of the genocide who was arrested in Tanzania in 2008; and Jean Bosco Uwinkindi, a pastor who prevented Tutsis from taking refuge in his church and took part in multiple attacks, who was arrested in Uganda in 2010.

“The dedicated efforts of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit in tracking down individuals wanted for genocide should indeed be applauded. Thanks to its hard work and close collaboration with the ICTR and law enforcement authorities across our 190 member countries, fugitives accused of the most appalling crimes have been taken off the streets, making the world a safer place for all its citizens,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.      

In further support of the ICTR, INTERPOL has developed an initiative aimed at locating and bringing to justice the fugitives wanted for participating in the Rwandan genocide. The INTERPOL Rwandan Genocide Fugitives Project was created in conjunction with the ICTR and the Rwandan National Prosecuting Authority to target the remaining fugitives wanted by those two groups.

Additionally, FIS has met multiple times with the investigators and prosecutors of the ICTR in Rwanda to develop strategies for locating and arresting the wanted fugitives. Meetings with senior Rwandan officials led to the creation of a dedicated fugitive team within the Rwanda National Prosecution Service and the establishment of a mechanism for international cooperation in targeting the most dangerous fugitives.

“INTERPOL is committed to working with the ICTR, other international criminal tribunals and national law enforcement authorities bring to justice those wanted for taking part in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The perpetrators of these heinous crimes can run, but they can’t hide forever because INTERPOL brings together police from all our member countries in a united effort to locate and arrest every last fugitive,” said Stefano Carvelli, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit.

INTERPOL has held two training courses for genocide and war crimes investigators, with another course scheduled for October 2013, in collaboration with the ICTR.