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Four Appear in British Court on Rwandan Genocide Charges

  • Tom Rivers

Four men have appeared in a London court after being arrested on extradition warrants charging them with participating in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. They were arrested Thursday night on warrants issued by the Rwandan government. For VOA News, Tom Rivers reports from London.

The four are all accused of taking part in the massacre of ethnic Tutsis.

In this, their initial appearance at Westminster Magistrates court, three were denied bail on the serious extradition warrants. The fourth man did not seek bail at his appearance.

Last week, Britain and Rwanda agreed on the wording of a document that would allow for Rwanda to seek the extradition of the four following an assurance that they would not face the death penalty in their home country.

In a statement released by the police, the men are said to be among dozens of Rwandan exiles believed to have sought refuge in Britain.

The extradition warrants allege that the four actively conspired to kill Tutsis, and aided and abetted in killings between January 1 and December 12 of 1994.

Currently, some 63,000 genocide suspects are being detained by Rwanda.

A U.N. tribunal in Tanzania is trying those accused of masterminding the killings.

During the 1994 genocide, ethnic Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The human rights group, Amnesty International has been urging Britain's Attorney General to extradite those accused of crimes in Rwanda, and to make sure Britain does not become a safe haven for alleged perpetrators of genocide.

All four of the men will face a second round of court appearances in London in January.

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