[QODLink]
Archive
Rwanda musician in UN court
A United Nations court has begun hearing a case against a Rwandan former sports ministry official whose popular songs were said to have encouraged killings in the country's 1994 genocide.
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2006 13:27 GMT
More than 800,000 people died in the 1994 genocide
A United Nations court has begun hearing a case against a Rwandan former sports ministry official whose popular songs were said to have encouraged killings in the country's 1994 genocide.

Simon Bikindi, a musician and former official in Rwanda's Ministry of Youth and Sports, was arrested in the Netherlands in 2001.

He faces six counts of genocide to which he has pleaded not guilty.

"He was the singer whose popular songs were supposed to have encouraged people to commit genocide," said Timothy Gallimore, spokesman for Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

"We haven't had anyone in his category before."

In its indictment, ICTR said that Bikindi also agreed or collaborated with, among others, Juvenal Habyarimana, the former president, to give military training to Hutu Interahamwe militia and to spread anti-Tutsi propaganda.

He is accused of helping recruit Interahamwe militias in late 1993 and early 1994 and for collaborating with among others, Habyarimana, to launch privately owned Radio Mille Collines.

The station was used to spread anti-Tutsi messages, and often played Bikindi's music.

Scores indicted

The ICTR added that Bikindi would compose and record music and have Habyarimana vet it to see if it fit the government's policies before it was released.

The ICTR is under pressure to finish its cases by 2008. It has indicted more than 80 people for genocide-related crimes since starting work in 1994, convicted 26 and acquitted four people.

Gallimore said the tribunal will be delivering another judgement on Wednesday against Andre Rwamakuba, a former education minister.

About 800,000 minority Tutsi and moderate Hutus were slaughtered over a period of 100 days in 1994 in the Rwandan genocide.

The killings began after a plane carrying Habyarimana was shot down over Kigali, the Rwandan capital, kiling all on board.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.