Founder and President of Genocide Survivors Foundation, Jacqueline Murekatete, has made a formal submission to Judge Theodor Meron opposing the early release of genocide convicts. Appended below is an extract of the letter…
Dear Honorable Judge Meron,
I am writing to express grave concerns about granting early release to genocide convicts. I write to you as survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and as the founder and president of Genocide Survivors Foundation, a New York based nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of genocide and other mass atrocity crimes and to supporting survivors.
As you are aware, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda claimed the lives of more than a million people. Among those murdered was my entire immediate family parents, four brothers and two sisters. After the genocide, I learned that my immediate family had been taken to a river near our village, brutally murdered and their bodies thrown into the river. Their bodies were never found.
In addition to my immediate family, most of my extended family members (uncles, aunts, cousins, grandmothers and many others) were also murdered in the genocide. Many were hacked to death, others burned alive, others thrown alive in latrines, each and everyone of them was murdered in the most brutal and horrific ways. Their crime? Their Tutsi ethnicity.
Today, 24 years after the genocide, the pain and loss suffered during the genocide still affects many aspects of my life. This is the case with all survivors. We all live with unimaginable pain and loss. Pain and loss that will also be felt by our children who are growing up without the grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and many extended family members who would be here today but for the genocide.
The crime of Genocide has rightly been called the “crime of all crimes.” It is simply the worst crime that human beings can commit.