Belgium detains Rwanda genocide suspects

Two suspects detained in Brussels and another in the province of Hainault, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Rwanda genocide
Some 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis but also moderate Hutus, died in the 1994 genocide [File: Ben Curtis/AP]

Three men suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide have been arrested and charged in Belgium with serious abuse of human rights, the prosecutor’s office said on Saturday.

The office gave no details about the three but said their identities had been established with the help of witness testimony collected in Rwanda by a Belgian investigation.

“Two were arrested [on] Tuesday in Brussels and the third [on] Wednesday in Hainault (province),” said Eric Van Duyse, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office.

“All three have been charged with serious human rights abuses,” the spokesman said, confirming a report in the weekly publication Vif/L’Express.

One of the men has been put under electronic surveillance while the two others are in detention, he said.

Whether the men face trial will be “decided in the end by the dossier compiled by the investigating magistrate and the prosecutor’s office,” Van Duyse said.

Some 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis but also moderate Hutus, died in the 1994 genocide.

Belgium has held five trials since 2001 of Rwandans implicated in the killings, with four that year – including two nuns – sentenced to terms of up to 20 years for handing over Tutsis in their shelter to Hutu fighters.

Last December, former senior Rwandan official Fabien Neretse was found guilty of genocide and sentenced to 25 years’ prison.

Source: AFP